Insurance To Cover Prayer. Medicine? Not So Much.

faithhealtoadAwesome. The same insurance companies that routinely deny coverage for stuff like life-saving surgery and other essential services are now supposed to allow money to be wasted on pay-for-prayer:

Leaders of the Church of Christ, Scientist, are pushing a proposal that would help patients pay someone […] for prayer by having insurers reimburse the $20 to $40 cost

That’s six sorts of schweet. If it goes thru, I’m setting up the Pastafarian Prayer Parlor (Or “Triple P”, yo). For $20 I will plead with the Flying Spaghetti Monster on your behalf to cure you of anything you want; I’ll pray your warts off, heal your broken bones and that nasty tumor on your colon. I’ll pray you a tummy tuck and a boob job, a kidney transplant and a tracheotomy. Infertility, bad breath, ingrown toe-nails, hernias, spina bifida, dwarfism — you name it, me and the Noodly One will heal it. Maybe not the first time, maybe never — but if you pay (or, rather, your insurance company), we’ll play. Step right up, show us your insurance card and the sky’s the limit.

There are just so many great thing about praying for healing: you don’t need a license nor any of that expensive medical school stuff; there’s no equipment required, no malpractice insurance, no office to maintain, no muzak for the waiting room, no bio-hazard disposal expenses, no referrals to make — it’s just you and some good ol’ fashion con-artistry faith-based healing.

Really, now. I’m all for people having faith. Faith in themselves, each other, their community, whatever. And if they require their crutch to be organized by someone else and come with a big, shiny church, fancy rituals and patronizing father figures in cool robes, so be it. As long as they keep their Jesus off me and way clear of my kids, it’s all fine. But now it looks like my health insurance premium is about to be watered down because the CCS fancies that their particular cross-over cult (Christ, Scientist — that’s so neat; sort of like Cody Banks, Secret Agent) has something extra-special to offer because they’re about MORE than just spiritual nonsense. That’s not cool. Uh, science? It’s about proof. Show me — empirically — that your prayer schtick actually works at least as well as, say, antibiotics, and we’ll talk. Until then: consider your prayer thing a life-long hobby in which your members are free to dabble at their own convenience and on their own dollar.

I suppose this shouldn’t surprise anyone — after all, in most states, both insurance companies and state health plans will gladly cover totally unnecessary surgery in the form of genital mutilation on little boys. Oh, and in light of the fact that placebo is rapidly becoming the single most efficient cure for everything, it’s a really neat business plan to wrap the sugar pill of self-initiated healing in some kind of mumbo-jumbo for which you can charge. It’s the American way.

Honestly, what next? Burning witches? Ritual sacrifice? Stonings? Also.

(Photo — apparently taken at DisneyWorld — came from here)