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Healthcare Provision Seeks To Embrace Prayer Treatments

Publication Date: 
November 03, 2009
Source: 
Los Angeles Times
Author: 
Tom Hamburger and Kim Geiger

Professor Michael McConnell spoke to the LA Times about the "prayer treatment" provision of the healthcare overhaul bill:

A little-noticed measure would put Christian Science healing sessions on the same footing as clinical medicine. Critics say it violates the separation of church and state.

Reporting from Washington - Backed by some of the most powerful members of the Senate, a little-noticed provision in the healthcare overhaul bill would require insurers to consider covering Christian Science prayer treatments as medical expenses.

The provision was inserted by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) with the support of Democratic Sens. John F. Kerry and the late Edward M. Kennedy, both of Massachusetts, home to the headquarters of the Church of Christ, Scientist.

...

Michael McConnell, who heads the Stanford University Constitutional Law Center, said that "as long as patients are the ones who choose, and religious choices are given no legal preference or advantage, the proposals would appear to be consistent with constitutional standards."