I was just looking at the list of what is covered and excluded from my Healthcare Flex Spending Account. I get regular massage therapy, mainly for lower back pain but also just for general relaxation. I checked and massage is specifically excluded. Okay, fine—I know that the evidence is scant for its effectiveness in relieving pain, but it works for me. No harm no foul. But then I catch sight of a couple of interesting treatments that are specifically allowed:
Chiropractic—okay, no big surprise. Despite having virtually no clinical evidence to support it, I realize that they have a strong lobby and have managed to get included in most health plans, so this wasn’t a shocker. Although I have tried it and I can tell you that massage has been much more effective for me.
Now for the really good ones that are specifically allowed…
Acupuncture! (Seriously?) ...and…
Christian Science practitioner’s fees! Are they freaking JOKING?
So I can’t get a break for a service that actually helps me but I could go see someone whose “practice” consists of:
Christian Science practitioners provide spiritual treatment through prayer that results in healing—which includes the resolution of relationship or financial difficulties, physical cure, and transformed lives. Treatment is based on the Bible and the principles explained in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, including the idea that there is one, all-good God, who loves and cares for each of us. Christian Science teachers are active practitioners who are also authorized to teach classes on Christian Science.
That is right off the official website of christian science. How is this not a violation of the establishment clause?