Leaders of the Church of Christ, Scientist, are pushing a proposal that would help patients pay its spiritual practitioners for prayer by having insurers reimburse the $20 to $40 cost. The provision was stripped from the bill the House passed this month, and church leaders are trying to get it inserted into the Senate version.
And the church has powerful allies there, including Sens. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), who represents the state where the church is based, and Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), who said the provision would "ensure that health-care reform law does not discriminate against any religion."