Friday, January 11, 2013

New Nanny City’s Painkiller Problem

There is no greater figure for the nanny state in action than Mayor for life Michael Bloomberg of New York City.  Most members of Congress probably envy him for the initiatives he passes that fly in the face of freedom and common decency.  From banning sodas greater than 16 oz. at a Donut Day party because of its high sugar content (actually, most sodas have high fructose corn syrup these days) to his latest bitch slap, limiting pain medication for government-run emergency rooms.

Now, if it was about cutting costs, I could understand.  Government-run anything is inefficient and incurs much more costs than the private market does.  And let’s be honest, ever since the Federal government decided to outlaw all cheap, easy drugs except for tobacco and alcohol (which is heavily taxed), pain medication isn’t cheap.  But that is not why:

“The city hospitals we control, so … we’re going to do it and we’re urging all of the other hospitals to do it, voluntary guidelines. Somebody said, oh, somebody wrote, ‘Oh then maybe there won’t be enough painkillers for the poor who use the emergency rooms as their primary care doctor,’” the mayor said on his weekly radio show with John Gambling. “Number one, there’s no evidence of that. Number two, supposing it is really true, so you didn’t get enough painkillers and you did have to suffer a little bit. The other side of the coin is people are dying and there’s nothing perfect … There’s nothing that you can possibly do where somebody isn’t going to suffer, and it’s always the same group [claiming], ‘Everybody is heartless.’ Come on, this is a very big problem.”

I don’t know how rampant prescription pain medications are in New York.  I don’t know how big of a problem it really is.  But let’s be honest here: Mayor Bloomberg didn’t bother to cite any specific studies to back up his claim.  He just made a general statement and assumed that the dumb masses would buy it.  And I’m sure they are.

But let’s be clear here: this is what happens when you allow the government to provide services above and beyond what it really should be doing, which is at most next to nothing.  Mayor Bloomberg is nothing more than a central planner who is managing one of the largest, most diverse cities in the world.  And as much as I despise many of his policies, he has managed to get re-elected while allowing the city council to remove mayoral term limits.

In any case, except more cities and states to adopt this wonderful standard of making the poor and veterans suffer physical pain in government run healthcare facilities as they haven’t done so already.  Most politicians look to people like Bloomberg for inspiration.  It’s a monkey see, monkey do kind of a situation.

As for Mayor Bloomberg, I am almost certain he will get to enjoy all the pain killers he can get if, God forbid, he ever ends up in his own, elite private run hospital while enjoying a 20 oz. bottle of Coke or Pepsi and some donuts in the recovery room.  The rules don’t apply to people like him after all.

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