Are you ready to include prayer in Health Care Reform?

A little-noticed measure would put Christian Science healing sessions on the same footing as clinical medicine. Critics say it violates the separation of church and state.

I wouldn’t use the word “critics”. How about people with a brain? How about Constitutionalist?

Reporting from Washington – Backed by some of the most powerful members of the Senate, a little-noticed provision in the healthcare overhaul bill would require insurers to consider covering Christian Science prayer treatments as medical expenses.

The provision was inserted by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) with the support of Democratic Sens. John F. Kerry and the late Edward M. Kennedy, both of Massachusetts, home to the headquarters of the Church of Christ, Scientist.

The measure would 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.”

It would have a minor effect on the overall cost of the bill — Christian Science is a small church, and the prayer treatments can cost as little as $20 a day. But it has nevertheless stirred an intense controversy over the constitutional separation of church and state, and the possibility that other churches might seek reimbursements for so-called spiritual healing…

Dr. Norman Fost, a pediatrician and medical ethicist at the University of Wisconsin, said the measure went against the goal of reducing healthcare costs by improving evidence-based medical practices.

“They want a special exception for people who use unproved treatments, and they also want to get paid for it,” he said. “They want people who use prayer to have it just automatically accepted as a legitimate therapy.”

Let’s face it. The religious nutballs who dedicate their lives to bankrolls and political power will jump on this bandwagon like stink on a cesspool.

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