Kerry and Hatch want health care reform to pay people to pray for you

I can’t even get my insurance company to cover my allergy pills, or a year’s supply of my asthma drugs, and these guys are worried about whether health care reform covers prayer? Are they kidding? Why not have it cover sex as a treatment for migraines? (It actually works.) Hell, why not have it cover my own prayer – there are, what, 6 billion people in the world? Hang on…. There, I just prayed for their well-being. That’s $6 billion multiplied by $20 or $40 bucks according to John Kerry and Orrin Hatch. Where’s my check?

From the Washington Post:

Each prayer is a cerebral search for resolution to the patient’s problem. And the answer often comes in the form of an idea or feeling: “God is here,” “God is life,” “We are created in God’s perfect image.”

Such thoughts, she said, drive out the fear causing the sickness: fear of pain, death, hopelessness. And as she and her patients reconnect with God, healing comes naturally.

Practically speaking, they want us to cover this unproven remedy but not other unproven remedies. Solely because this unproven remedy is practiced by a religion. That’s not equal treatment of religion, it’s special rights for religion. It’s the state subsidizing a religious practice at a time in which our country is already in serious fiscal peril. (Why not just pay people to pray for deficit reduction, for Afghanistan, for DOMA repeal, and so on?)

This is one of the reasons it’s good to travel abroad. You get to see how ridiculous your own country looks, at times, when seen from a distance. An Australian reader of ours recently remarked that “Australia got the convicts, but you got the Puritans.” Want to trade?

Kerry and Hatch will please their own constituents by putting this Christo-pork in the health care bill, but it’s the kind of thing that only reinforces for the rest of Americans how out of touch Washington really is. The health care reform bill isn’t about paying people to pray. Unless of course we’re praying that the final legislation actually does anything at all to change our corrupt and inefficient health care system.

PS Would Kerry and Hatch’s language also require insurance companies to pay religious right hucksters who claim to “cure” gays or their sexual orientation “illness” through prayer? Sure sounds like it would be covered. It’s prayer by religious people who claim to be curing someone of a physical ailment. To deny it, while covering Christian Scientists, could be unconstitutional. So your tax money may soon be paying bigots to cure gays. Heck of a health care bill, Brownie.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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