Sunday, May 24, 2009

[Real World Atheism] Should Universal Health Care Cover Faith Healing?

Should Universal Health Care Cover Faith Healing?,8599,1897498,00.html


Lobbying may be the one remaining recession-proof industry, and as Washington prepares for a summer-long debate over how to reform health care, lobbyists for every conceivable interest group have camped out in congressional anterooms to press their case. There are advocates for doctors, insurance companies, patients, nurses, pharmaceutical companies, big business and small business. And for faith healers too.

Of course, they wouldn't call themselves "faith healers." They argue that the term dismisses what they do as simple wishful thinking. But practitioners of Christian Science as well as other alternative therapies — including acupuncture, biofeedback, herbal medicine, holistic medicine and Reiki, a Japanese healing and relaxation technique — are intent on influencing the coming health-care-reform process. "We're advocates for people who want access to spiritual treatment," says Phil Davis, a Christian Science practitioner and his church's chief lobbyist. Their goal is to encourage Congress to think of health care as more than just medical care — and to allow insurance companies to provide coverage for their holistic treatments. (See the top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2008.)

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