One in a Billion? Perhaps it's a little more. Religion and Healthcare
Somebody, perhaps The Twelve, was claiming the other day that perhaps one in a billion theists eschew medical care in favor of prayer. It appears that his estimate is a bit off. Apparently, enough people object to healthcare on religious grounds that it's becoming a bit of an issue in healthcare reform talks.
The Church of Christ, Scientist does not require its members to forgo medical treatment but promotes prayer as a route to healing, a philosophy rooted in the healing ministries ofJesus Christ.
Legal scholar Marci Hamilton has no problem with adults declining medical treatment for religious reasons, but she worries some of the proposed language could let parents to opt out of health coverage for their children.
"That's another reason they may not take the children to the hospital when they become very ill," said Hamilton, an expert in law and religion at Cardozo School of Law, a nondenominational affiliate of Yeshiva University. "The federal government should not be in the business of providing incentives for parents not to treat children."
In an attempt to get some idea of just how many people believe this sort of thing, we can look at the following statistic:
In Massachusetts, which has included a religious exemption in its experiment with near universal health coverage, fewer than 10,000 tax filers claimed it in 2007, according to the most recent information from the state Department of Revenue.
Ok... this article says fewer than ten thousand, but damn, folks! That's NEARLY TEN THOUSAND people in one state who are publicly stating that they believe prayer is more effective than medicine! Do they all believe it fervently? Maybe, maybe not. Are some of them politically motivated? I bet so. The article goes on to say that this church wants to be able to be included in any healthcare reform. In a nutshell, They want to get paid by the government to pray for people and call it medicine!
Before we jump on the political bandwagon, though, we need to realize that if these politically savvy religious wackos are going to get government money for praying, they need something...
In other words, somebody needs to believe their shenanigans are effective, or they're not going to get any customers. Apparently, even if this is a political move, the religious leaders believe a sufficient number of people believe in the power of prayer, and would be willing to submit insurance claims to that effect.
In the Senate Finance Committee, a similar amendment was introduced by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, but didn't come up for a vote. The concept is included in another Senate bill, according to a Kerry spokeswoman.
The devil is in the details, according to the nonpartisan Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which is watching the permutations closely. Some of the proposals are dangerously broad, legislative director Aaron Schuham said.
"The biggest concern would be situations where the government is basically reimbursing people to engage in prayer services," he said.
Yes, folks. There are a lot of people who believe in prayer, and it changes the way they interact with the universe.
Why? Why shouldn't health care be just the thing in the background, like electricity or water supply?
OK. Well what would happen if we billed electricity and water the way single payer health care would work. We just send everyone a bill based on how much income you made in a highly progressive manner. How much electricity or water you use doesn't affect your bill only how much you make. Don't you think we'd see extreme waist and inefficiency? The electric company would decide what appliances I need in my home, so they'd give me the most wasteful ones to maximize their profits. Eventually it would bankrupt the government.
Do you want to choose your water distributor as well?
Yes. I choose my bottled water company. Perhaps as technology advances, it won't be necessary to have a single water distributor and all the water one uses could be recycled. This is what happened with electricity where it is now practical to choose your power generating company.
Water is a regulated monopoly only because it is impractical to have two water/sewer lines in a city. But it's not impracticle for multiple companies to compete to run the water supply. You have multiple suppliers for your food and this works OK for the most part.
Maybe you would like to choose the private police company?
I think for small towns, it would more practical for the city's management to choose police services from several companies rather than be blackmailed by a police union monopoly demanding ridiculous pension plans. For big cities there is no reason we should not be able to choose from several companies, we already do this with security firms.
Maybe you would like to choose individually all the people that work in your local fire department, what their wages should be and what color uniforms they should wear? Maybe you would like to have so much detailed uninformed choice on bullshit non-sensical issues that should basically be handled collectively that you will have no time to do anything else 24/7/52?
Well that's as ridiculous as saying you should choose the waiters in your restaurants. I only care about the bottom line, am I getting good service at a good price. But I want to make the call, not politicians. Do you want politicians to decide what restaurants are available for you to go to in your town?
Maybe you think it's a good idea for kids and teachers in schools to make all decisions on funding of their classrooms and make all the administrative choices about which supplier of school benches the school should employ? Maybe each child should choose their own school book publisher? Maybe in a school of 1000 kids each of them should be responsible for running 0.1% of everything in their school?
I've tried to explain my position on education. I think you're making up a strawman argument about my position.
We already let kids decide what they can study. The results are a disaster. When I was in high school, you could opt out of math and science classes for something that was fun. So in my high school, we had 4 years of band, 4 years of choir, 4 years of art, 4 years of pys. ed. But we had no physics or advanced math classes. So now, people wonder why America is loosing out economically and we have high unemployment while there is a nurse and doctor shortage.
It's the people of your political persuasion that believe kids should choose to study what they want but I can't choose how to spend my own money on health care.
The person paying the bill should decide what kids study. So if you have a publicly funded education, it should be geared toward getting one gainful employment. Parents can fund whatever else they want their kids to study.
Fundamental misunderstanding is that the private helthcare system equates more choice. It doesn't.
There is choice if you have money, there is no choice if you don't. So why not focus on fixing this problem?
It equates to 45k dead Americans every year due to insufficient health insurance at a price TWICE that of any other modern country and an administrative overhead that is nothing short of fantastic.
This is propaganda and it's difficult to compare prices because of the differences in cost of living. And if these profits are so massive, why can't you start a health insurance company and become a billionaire? Then use these billions to pay for poor people? You can't because you don't really believe this propaganda and because you are only generous and compassionate with other people's money not your own.
On top of that comes the huge stress factor for the uninformed individual - since they are NOT INFORMED on healthcare enough to be informed consumers.
OK, so must be admitting our education systems is failure? It doesn't produce citizens that can not be informed consumers by reading , comprehending or thinking for themselves? Nor does it produce people that can afford to buy their own insurance. So the same political system and politicians that produced this failed system are going to run my health care? No thanks.
It also equates destruction of the US Republic by the moneyed interest, which you as a republican should give a damn about once in a while.
I'm not a republican, they call me a communist.
No, you won't. Have you bothered to read through the bill that is being formed at the moment? If you think that is socialised healthcare, you are on drugs.
We don't know yet if we'll get the public options. This will subsidize health care for everyone that can't afford it.
is one standard for everyone. So it looks like society will become slaves to the health care industry.
Correct there - public option is off the table, at the moment it's really all about pleasing the industry.
But you can say no to them and their high prices.
What about an exemption for liberty lovers that don't want to be slaves to the medical industry?
You stand before nothing less than a fascist corporate state - there is no peaceful way to get rid of those.
Far from it. If I don't like a corporation, I don't want my money going to them. Under single payer, I'm force to pay them via taxes. Look at all the companies and doctors that got rich off medicaid.
it is a simple matter of reclaiming the billions in caiman islands for the US tax payer.
And once you take the billions, where will more money come from to fund doctors and the healthcare industry that can charge whatever they want because we never say no? What will get people into productive jobs so we can pay for whatever expensive cure that can be invented? I'll stop working when the government subsidizes me for being poor.
“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca