Gentle readers are by now familiar with a key SWNIDish objection to healthcare reform as conceived by the present administration: mandating first-dollar coverage for all kinds of treatments from all kinds of providers.
The absurdity of such a mandate is well illustrated by an article by WaPo's William Wan, drawing attention to the insistence that Christian Science "spiritual health care" practices be covered.
Lest gentle readers conclude that the fringe practice is demanded only by fringe folk, we draw attention to Mr. Wan's note that the House bill, recently passed, originally mandated coverage for said practice. It has received public pledges of support from such solons as John Kerry, protective of the considerable number of Christian Science observants in the People's Republic of Massachusetts, and Orrin Hatch, protective of another quaint cult in Utah.
Given the outlines of Christian Science dogma, we're not sure why Christian Scientists can't simply put their faith in the notion that such coverage actually exists and thus make it so.
Debate on this topic is predictably bouncing between two issues: the efficacy of prayer in healing and the rights of religious minorities. Absent is consideration whether the issue exposes the folly of a publicly funded mandate for first-dollar coverage.
For those wanting a summary response, we ask: Why not just let people decide whether they want first-dollar coverage for chiropractors, podiatrists, acupuncturists, spiritual healers, feng shui experts, paranormalists, and horse whisperers? Or even whether they want first-dollar coverage for their internist? And pay for it themselves if they do? It's the top end of health care where the risk lies, not the first dollar.
The dumbness continues.