Author Topic: Scientology can exploit one of the health care bills  (Read 1482 times)

Offline ethercat

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Scientology can exploit one of the health care bills
« on: October 24, 2009, 13:09 »
Regardless of your political persuasion, I think most of us can agree that scientology (including narconon) has no place receiving benefits from any health care bill that might be approved.  Yet that is exactly how one of the bills is being set up - to allow for benefits for faith-based health care services (as if that's not an oxymoron).

There is more here and a lot of commentary from readers about the clauses: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/10/its_more_than_just_harkin_and_woo_christ.php#more but I'll quote some of it:

Senate bill:
Quote
    SEC. 3103. PROGRAM DESIGN.

    [...]

    (D) The essential benefits provided for in subparagraph (A) shall include a requirement that there be non-discrimination in health care in a manner that, with respect to an individual who is eligible for medical or surgical care under a qualified health plan offered through a Gateway, prohibits the Administrator of the Gateway, or a qualified health plan offered through the Gateway, from denying such individual benefits for religious or spiritual health care, except that such religious or spiritual health care shall be an expense eligible for deduction as a medical care expense as determined by Internal Revenue Service Rulings interpreting section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as of January 1, 2009.

House bill:
Quote
    Section 125. PROHIBITION OF DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTH CARE SERVICES BASED ON RELIGIOUS OR SPIRITUAL CONTENT.

    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.

Quote
If I were in the hierarchy of the Church of Scientology, if these provisions favoring Christian Scientists remain in the final bill that passes, I'd be licking my chops to sue the government to force it to pay for E-meter treatments and" auditing." Ditto if I were a reiki practitioner or any other faith healer. In fact, if this bill were to pass with some variety of this "nondescrimination" provision in it, I guess my only consolation would be the entertainment value of the government trying to justify not covering Scientology auditing treatments. (My guess is that the government would cave rapidly on reiki, given that it's viewed by most as being "alternative" therapy rather than the faith healing modality that it is.) One would think that this sort of provision would be unconstitutional, but apparently it's not (or it's never been challenged) given that the IRS has apparently been allowing these deductions for Christian Science prayer "treatments" without difficulty for years now, even though, as far as I know, no other religion's faith healing charges are given a similar tax deduction.

As it is, very few, if any, insurance companies will provide coverage for narconon's phony "sauna detox" or for scientology's "purification rundown."  That could change if either of these bills are passed with the "faith based" clauses.  I don't know how this will fit in with the idea of scientology practicing medicine without a license, but I do know that I don't want to see the corporate scientology monster get any more money at the taxpayers' expense than they already do with the IRS tax exemption. 

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Offline Lorelei

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Re: Scientology can exploit one of the health care bills
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2009, 08:50 »
Yes, "reiki" is not a faith-based treatment, any more than acupuncture / acupressure treatments are tied to any particular belief system.

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