Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Requiring insurance companies to cover prayer treatments

Now this is crazy. Orrin Hatch, (R-Mesolithic) has slipped into one of the senate health care bills (with co-conspirators John Kerry* and Teddy Kennedy*) a provision that would require insurers to "put Christian Science prayer treatments -- which substitute for or supplement medical treatments -- on the same footing as clinical medicine. While not mentioning the church by name, it would prohibit discrimination against "religious and spiritual healthcare."

We're planning to require payments to religious people for performing religious rituals. There are two big and obvious things wrong with this:

I wonder how they're going to distinguish between "good religions" (i.e., those that whites engage in) and "bad religions" (i.e., those that brown people or poor people or extremely non-Christian people engage in). I can just see a Santoria or Zoroastrian priest billing Blue Cross for dead chickens. That will be fun to watch.

Or even better, Church of Universal Life ministers start a side job of praying over people. You could do a whole hospital ward at a time, or hell, if you're working from home, you could pray for the whole country, all the sick people at once. Okay, that's far fetched, but I'll bet ministers, legitimate and otherwise, do find ways to scam this in very unChristian, Jewish, Muslim, Santorian, and Zoroastrian ways. I imagine evangelical megachurches bussing in thousands of people with insurance cards and praying over them all at once. I wonder if insurers would offer different rates if you pray over more than 1000 people at a time.

* Kerry and Kennedy are for it because Christian Science is based in Massachusetts, so it's just a case of constituency overcoming principle. Hatch is from Utah. He was the senator who got food supplement makers the right to sell pretty much whatever they want, with virtually no regulation. Guess who contributes to him. I wonder if the Mormon church is planning to go into theraputic prayer as a fundraiser.

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