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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Should prayers be covered?

By Tom Hamburger and Kim Geiger





Christian Scientists want 'spiritual care' as part of health bill

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) As the health care battle moved forward last week, Phil Davis, a senior Christian Science church official, hurriedly delivered bundles of letters to Senate offices promoting a little-noticed proposal in the legislation requiring insurers to consider covering the church's prayer treatments just as they do other medical expenses.

Critics say the proposal would essentially put Christian Science prayer treatments on the same footing as science-based medical care by prohibiting discrimination against "religious and spiritual health care."

While advancing below the radar as debate focuses on larger issues such as the "public option," the Christian Scientists' proviso has begun to stir controversy because it rekindles debate on three long-running and sensitive issues: freedom of religion; the constitutional separation of church and state; and the question of whether faith-based approaches should be treated as equivalent to science-based medicine.

The Christian Science Church believes that prayer treatment is an effective alternative to doctors and other medical care.

"We are making the case for this, believing there is a connection between health care and spirituality," said Davis, a senior church official, after distributing 11,000 letters.

"We think this is an important aspect of the solution, when you are talking about not only keeping the cost down, but finding effective health care."

And Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., who sponsored the provision in the House and whose district includes a Christian Science school, Principia College, said, "Those religious traditions that utilize nontraditional care ... should have them covered in any health care bill."

On the other side of the issue, Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Irvine, law school, said, "It raises serious establishment clause questions" — a reference to the First Amendment clause that reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

"I think when Congress mandates that health companies provide coverage for prayer, it has the effect of the government advancing religion," Chemerinsky said.

Chemerinsky predicts that if the provision becomes law, it will immediately spark court challenges questioning its constitutionality. But other legal scholars, such as Michael McConnell, who heads the Stanford University Constitutional Law Center, say that's unlikely.

"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," McConnell said.

Christian Science officials and some other supporters of the legislation say it is not a mandate. Instead, they say, it is an instruction to insurers not to discriminate against spiritual care.

Others, including some congressional staff members and legal and health authorities, read it differently.

"It's the opposite of discrimination," said Dr. Norman Fost, a pediatrician and medical ethicist at the University of Wisconsin. "They want a special exception for people who use unproved treatments, and they also want to get paid for it. They want people who use prayer to have it just automatically accepted as a legitimate therapy."

Other critics say covering prayer treatments runs counter to the goal of reducing health care costs with evidence-based medical practices. The government's attitude about Christian Science prayer treatments has seemed ambivalent.

The Internal Revenue Service, for example, allows the cost of Christian Science prayer sessions to be counted among itemized medical expenses for income tax purposes — one of the only religious treatments explicitly identified as deductible by the IRS.

Moreover, some federal medical insurance programs, including those for military families, now reimburse for prayer treatment.

At the same time, criminal courts have convicted Christian Scientists in cases where children have died after visiting prayer healers instead of receiving traditional medical care. The church says no such cases have been brought for two decades.

The Christian Science religious tradition has always emphasized the role of trained prayer practitioners. Their job, as outlined by the church's founder, Mary Baker Eddy, is to pray for healing and charge for treatment at rates similar to those charged by doctors.

Practitioners are not regulated by the government, but many buy advertisements in a leading Christian Science publication. The publication requires an application process for the ads that includes the submission of patient testimonials, a practice that church leaders say is tantamount to a vetting process.

Davis has been trained as a practitioner and still occasionally treats the sick. "We'll talk to them about their relationship to G0d," he said. "We'll talk to them about citations or biblical passages they might study. We refer to it as treatment."

During the day, Davis may see multiple patients and pray for them at different moments. He charges them $20 to $40 for the day, saying, "I think that it would be considered modest by any standard."

The outlook for the Christian Science coverage proposal is uncertain.

Final action on health care is still weeks away, and scores of changes and tweaks are likely to be made in the House and Senate before final legislation is approved.

Two House committees voted to include the measure in their versions of the overhaul, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stripped it from the consolidated House bill in response to arguments that it was unconstitutional.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is considering whether to include it in the overhaul bill he sends to the Senate floor.

So far as the health care overhaul is concerned, the Christian Science provision would apply only to insurance policies offered by a proposed insurance exchange where consumers could shop for policies that meet standards set by the government.

Critics say the effect would be broader, conferring medical legitimacy on practices that lie outside the realm of science.

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© 2009,Tribune Co. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.