Friday, October 16, 2009

Keep religious superstition out of health care reform bills

I just read this article which was posted at American Atheists on October 7th.

Atheists Oppose Christian Science “Faith Healing” Provisions in Health Care Reform Bills

“Faith-healing provisions in health care reform bills”? I knew the anti-abortionists were in a tizzy about provisions for abortion coverage, however I had no idea there were provisions to allow reimbursements for magical “medicine”!

An Atheist public policy organization today called for elimination of requirements in Senate legislation which would reimburse faith-based “healers” for their services.

Reimburse for what? If their imaginary friend is doing their healing, shouldn’t their imaginary friend receive imaginary “reimbursement”?

“Any adult in the legislative or executive branch of the federal government, or of any state government, who wants to use unproven, unscientific ‘remedies’ should be free to do so,” said Buckner. “But support for such irrational nonsense violates the separation of religion and government and the canons of good sense. Including faith-healing or other non-medical ‘treatment’ in health care legislation must be rejected.”

Dave Silverman, Communications Director for American Atheists, said that Christian Science and other faith-based healers already receive public money, and that the policy is not based on good science.

“We need to spend that money on providing solid, fact-based medicine. Reimbursing the faith-healing industry wastes precious resources, and violates the separation of church and state.”

It’s a damn good thing there are people paying close attention to these sneaky superstitious folks.

Good response by Illini — Voodoo Healthanomics?

Giving any sort of legitimacy to quackery, religious or otherwise, seems inherently dangerous to me. Especially dangerous and indeed often fatal to children of folks who take this stuff too far. While this particular amendment doesn’t seem to change the fact that killing a child with faith based denial of care is still generally illegal, it could encourage more of it and even reward those who attempt it and propagate irrational fears, distrust, or dismissal of proven medical treatments to those who might otherwise not know better. Of course empowering the government to decide what treatments should be covered is bound to cause even more issues along these lines. Will insurance companies or government programs be forced to pay for scientology thetan tests too? How about subluxation tests/treatment in the quackier side of chiropractic care which has roughly the same scientific grounding… i.e. none. Will we end up with a public option for prayer circle coverage too?

This religious nuttery in government and elsewhere is out of control. No wonder this health care reform bill is taking so long to pass! Too much bullshit to weed out!

1 comment:

C Woods said...

I read about this and planned to write a post, then some crazy stuff in my life interfered, so I am glad you posted this. Who will be reimbursed and for what? For praying? I lived in a 3rd world country several decades ago where there were people in the hinterland who charged to pray for the ill. I thought it was a bizarre practice (why couldn't people pray for themselves if they believed in that stuff) and wondered why anyone fell for it, but it was somewhat understandable in an area where there was a literacy rate of about 10%. There is no excuse here. Well, except that our country is full of religious zealots who are beyond reason. Apparently some of them are in Congress.