House Democrats’ Health Care Reform Bill Doesn’t Mandate Coverage for Faith Healing

November 2, 2009

According to the Chicago Tribune , the House Democrats' version of the health care reform bill, H.R. 3962 (the Affordable Health Care for America Act) does not mandate insurance coverage for faith healing and so-called "spiritual care," such as the prayer services of Christian Science practitioners.

This is a welcome development.  In previous weeks I wrote about the successful push by proponents of faith healing, complimentary and alternative medicine to subvert health care reform by mandating coverage for bogus treatments that have no basis in reality.  Under their schemes, for instance, taxpayer dollars could go to reimbursing Christian Scientists for praying.  But the game isn't over yet.  After the Senate passes its version of health care reform, members of the House and Senate will meet in conference committee to work out any differences between the two versions of the bill.  And the alt med and Christian Science lobbies have been working hard to secure coverage for "spiritual care" in the Senate version.  According to the St. Petersburg Times , Senate legislative proposals embodying the Christian Science church's goals were introduced in the Senate Finance Committee by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Orin Hatch (R-UT), but did not come up for a vote. A Kerry spokesperson says that the concept is included in another Senate bill. 

Let's hope the final version of the health care reform bill covers therapies that have a proven track record of actually improving health, rather than giving handouts to peddlers of pseudoscience.