Friday, November 27, 2009

"Cash for prayers": If government health care covers healing prayers, then ...

The proposed government health care program may cover healing prayers.

"Healthcare provision seeks to embrace prayer treatments

"By Tom Hamburger and Kim Geiger

"November 3, 2009

"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."

To read the rest click here.

I have a question: can the government discriminate between one healing prayer and another? Can they cover Christian Science healing prayers on the one hand but not cover Catholic healing Masses on the other? I think I see a potential lawsuit in the offing here.

Also, if every Catholic Mass can be defined as a "healing Mass" because of the healing presence of Jesus Christ, substantially and really present in the Eucharist, should not every Mass qualify for a health care reimbursement?

And then there are the logistics: does every priest file for reimbursement for "healing prayer-services rendered" every time he celebrates Mass? Does he change his fee based on how many people are present at Mass? If he does, who will come from the government to every Mass to verify that the numbers are correctly represented? Talk about a dream come true: government-financed evangelization!

Does this sound like the growth of a new beaurocratic arm of the federal "octopus"? I guess it would amount to just another method for normal taxpayers to get reimbursed for a portion of their high tax burden, which sounds like the direction the country is headed anyway.

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