Friday, November 13, 2009

Health Care?

digby: Spiritual Healing
Yesterday I wrote a satirical post calling for the exclusion of erectile dysfunction treatments in the health care plan because of my moral objections to men defying God's edict to stay flaccid. It created a good chuckle around the blogosphere, my favorite being General JC Christian's post "First they came for the boners" (and his hilarious comment section --- "They'll pry my boner from my cold dead hands.")

But as is so often true these days, satire is no longer operative with the right wing having retired the concept of hypocrisy. Howie sent me this post with a real life provision which I quite seriously object to having my tax dollars spent for:
A few days ago the L.A. Times reported on a provision slipped into the Senate bill that "would require insurers to consider covering Christian Science prayer treatments as medical expenses." Orrin Hatch is behind the provision, but he was aided by Kennedy and Kerry, the senators from Massachusetts, which is where Christian Science has its world headquarters.
The measure would put Christian Science prayer treatments -- which substitute for or supplement medical treatments -- on the same footing as clinical medicine. While not mentioning the church by name, it would prohibit discrimination against "religious and spiritual healthcare."... Phil Davis, a senior Christian Science Church official, said prayer treatment was an effective alternative to conventional healthcare.

"We are making the case for this, believing there is a connection between healthcare and spirituality," said Davis, who distributed 11,000 letters last week to Senate officials urging support for the measure.

"We think this is an important aspect of the solution, when you are talking about not only keeping the cost down, but finding effective healthcare," he said.
Let's not kid ourselves about this. It's a boondoggle. And if it passes, I'm done fighting all this. I'm going to start a "spiritual healing center" and become a millionaire. And I won't just be stealing your tax dollars to do it, I won't have to pay taxes myself. It's brilliant.
Stupak is as Stupak does Nov. 12: The Interview: Rachel Maddow is joined by Gov. Ed Rendell, D-PA, to talk about the political rift caused by the inclusion of the Stupak amendment in the House health reform bill.
Think Progress: RNC employee health insurance plan covers abortion.
Last week, 176 House Republicans joined with 64 Democrats in voting for the so-called Stupak amendment, which could “could effectively stop many employer-provided health insurance plans from covering abortions for tens of millions of Americans” and restrict any private plan in the insurance exchange from offering abortion coverage. However, Politico reports today that the RNC’s own employee health care plan covers elective abortion — “a procedure the party’s own platform calls ‘a fundamental assault on innocent human life’”:

Federal Election Commission Records show the RNC purchases its insurance from Cigna. Two sales agents for the company said that the RNC’s policy covers elective abortion.

Informed of the coverage, RNC spokeswoman Gail Gitcho told POLITICO that the policy pre-dates the tenure of current RNC Chairman Michael Steele.

“The current policy has been in effect since 1991, and we are taking steps to address the issue,” Gitcho said. [...]

According to several Cigna employees, the insurer offers its customers the opportunity to opt out of abortion coverage — and the RNC did not choose to opt out.

Recently it was also revealed that the health insurance plan used by the right-wing, anti-choice organization Focus on the Family also covered “abortion services.”

Update The RNC has announced that it will no longer offer employees an insurance plan that covers abortion. "Money from our loyal donors should not be used for this purpose," Chairman Michael Steele said in a statement. "I don't know why this policy existed in the past, but it will not exist under my administration. Consider this issue settled."

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