Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Monday, January 14, 2013

Healthcare Debate Continues...

I was listening to the radio this morning and I heard about yet another business that is facing fines for failing to comply with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  I've mentioned before how I feel about this so I see no reason to go into that here.

There is another point that I'd like to make, however. Let me make it clearer why our government can't allow businesses to deny certain health care coverage for their employees based on their owner's religious beliefs.

Many religions have a problem with abortions and birth control but let's take a look at what else some religions have an issue with.

Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in blood transfusions even in an emergency and even if it is the patient's own blood. Should we allow businesses run by Jehovah's Witnesses to exempt life-saving blood transfusions from being covered by their health insurance? They certainly don't come cheap if you have to pay for them out of pocket!

What about Christian Scientists?  Christian Scientists believe that sickness is an illusion that can be healed with prayer. They allow broken bones to be set and basic surgical procedures but disapprove of most other medical procedures and of medications.  Should we allow them to provide health insurance for their employees that strictly follows their beliefs?

Let's take a look at the Church of Scientology. There are a lot of claims about the church that focus on their auditing procedures which some seem to claim have healed them of illness.  The church, itself, seems to deny that they treat illnesses and says it encourages members to seek medical treatment for illnesses.  I'll take this at face value.  What they do actually seem to have an issue with is pain medication. The page I linked seems to imply that one should avoid painkillers and ends with this quote:
"One has a choice between being dead with drugs or being alive without them. Drugs rob life of the sensations and joys which are the only reasons for living anyhow."
It is clear that using painkillers is discouraged by Scientology.  Should businesses owned by Scientologists be  exempt from covering pain killers?

This article lists many different beliefs held by people of different faiths concerning health care.  It appears that Buddists may object to pain killers as may Muslims.

What about those who believe in faith healing?

If we allow members of one religion to be exempt from providing certain health care procedures or medication, then we have to allow every group the same right. The government may not treat members of one religion differently than members of another.  They may not favor any one religion over another.  Doing so would clearly violate the separation of church and state.

Do you really want the health care you receive to be based on someone else's beliefs?  What if that conflicts with your own beliefs?  Wouldn't you rather make those sorts of decisions yourself?  Clearly the best solution to this problem is for the patient to decide what care his or her beliefs allow.

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