Debate Over Opting Out Of Health Insurance For Religious Reasons

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Here & Now recently spoke with U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois about a bill he sponsored called The Equitable Access to Care and Health Act (EACH).

The bill would allow individuals to opt out of mandatory health insurance by writing "sincerely held religious beliefs" on their tax return, along with a sworn statement explaining their objection. The Christian Science Church heavily lobbied for it.

Today, host Robin Young speaks with someone who is against the bill. Rita Swan was a Christian Scientist whose son died from spinal meningitis after 12 days of prayer treatment by a Christian Science practitioner.

Swan says her main concern about this bill is that children could be harmed if their parents are exempt from purchasing health insurance.

Young then hears from Michelle Nanouche, a Christian Science practitioner and teacher, who defends the Christian Science practice and responds to Ms. Swan's accusations.


  • Rita Swan, former Christian Scientist and president of Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty (CHILD), Inc.
  • Michelle Nanouche, Christian Science practitioner and teacher.

This segment aired on April 1, 2014.


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