[ExI] Capitalizing on "Life Extension"
thespike at satx.rr.com
Sun Nov 2 20:29:39 UTC 2008
At 11:10 AM 11/2/2008 -0800, Olga wrote:
>of late I have been noticing more and more "complementary medicine"
>creeping into scientific medicine (e.g., my medical insurance at
>work covers stuff like chiropract[ic] and acupuncture).
Even more puke-making (modulo effective placebo and barely
conceivable psi effects), I believe "being prayed for" also gets
coverage under some plans.
I wonder what eventuated over the following bid?
Christian Science provision sought in healthcare law
By Jeffrey Krasner, Globe Staff | August 28, 2006
Officials of the Christian Science Church are worried that the
state's healthcare law will exclude faith healing as a recognized
health benefit for its employees who do not receive traditional
medical care because of their religious beliefs.
The church, based in Boston, holds that illnesses should be treated
with prayer, but a draft version of the healthcare reform regulations
specifies that employers must contribute to workers' medical
insurance coverage to comply with the landmark law that takes effect
next year. Those that do not will be assessed $295 per employee annually.
The law also requires Massachusetts residents to enroll in a health
insurance plan or face penalties such as the loss of personal tax
deductions. It exempts those who do not because of ``sincerely held
religious beliefs," but there is no such provision for employers.
Church officials this month told the Division of Health Care
Financing and Policy that the non medical insurance coverage it
offers employees should qualify as healthcare. It wants the rules to
require ``health care " without referring to ``medical services."
``The Church does not think it is the Commonwealth's intention to
dictate the `methods' under which health and well-being are achieved"
under healthcare reform, wrote Claire Waterson , a spokeswoman and
registered lobbyist for the church, in formal comments submitted to
the state. ``The Church provides its employees with a wide range of
health care benefit options, and one of these options is a health
plan for spiritual healing."
Along with written comments, the church provided fact sheets
describing the two health plans it offers employees.
For those who are not Christian Scientists, it pays about 70 percent
of the premium for a standard managed-care medical plan provided by
Tufts Health Plan.
The second plan -- for employees who are church members -- is offered
directly through the church and covers faith healing. It pays 90
percent of the cost of treatment by faith healers, who pray for
patients in an effort to heal them of physical and spiritual
ailments. The plan also features 90 percent coverage for home care by
Christian Science nurses, who provide practical help such as changing
bandages, but do not administer medication or any other type of
medical care. Annual out-of-pocket expenses for participants in the
Christian Science plan are capped at $1,000 for individuals and
$3,000 for families.
The church, whose headquarters at the intersection of Huntington and
Massachusetts avenues is called The Mother Church, has about 550
employees in Massachusetts. About half of them choose the traditional
health plan, and one quarter are enrolled in the faith-healing plan.
Mark Unger, who describes himself as a metaphysician, qualifies under
the church's faith-healing insurance plan to treat patients through
prayer. He said his job is ``to lift up the patient above the
physical level to the spiritual, to get them to look beyond the
symptoms to the spiritual truth about what's going on."
Unger charges $32 for a treatment, during which he prays for a
patient to promote healing. The Ashland resident said he can pray
anywhere, but prefers a quiet place, usually not with the patient.
``My style of prayer is just an absolute, quiet listening to God," he said.
While he doesn't make medical diagnoses, Unger says he has cured a
patient's skin cancer with prayer. ``It dried up and dropped off," he said.
John Q. Adams of Boston, who said he has worked as a Christian
Science faith healer full-time since 1985, described his treatments
as prayers that focus on the specific needs of a patient. He said he
charges $25 per treatment.
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