Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Keep Nonsense Out of Health Care Reform

The Center for Inquiry has started a campaign to get a “non-discrimination” provision that could very well require insurance companies to cover “alternative” medical treatments like faith healing taken out of the health care reform bills working their way through Congress.

. If the health care bills in Congress pass as they are currently written, a nondiscrimination clause will force all insurance plans that participate in the insurance exchange to cover treatments such as therapeutic touch, Christian Science prayer healing, or even Scientology E-meter readings, none of which have any proven medical benefits. This clause would also require both Medicare and any public option that to provide this coverage, providing for taxpayer and government funding of potentially religious treatments. If this happens, it would represent an egregious violation of the principle of separation of church and state.

Sec. 125 of HR 3200 says:

Neither the Commissioner nor any health insurance issuer offering health insurance coverage through the Exchange shall discriminate in approving or covering a health care service on the basis of its religious or spiritual content if expenditures for such a health care service are allowable as a deduction under 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as in effect on January 1, 2009.

Sec. 213(d) of the IRS code covers Medical Savings Accounts and what kinds of medical expenses can be deducted if paid for out of such an account. It explicitly includes Christian Science Practitioners and “healing services” but Scientology counseling is explicitly non-deductible.

Go to the link above and you can send a message to your legislators telling them not to allow that provision to remain in the bill.