Consumers have won a rare, if possibly temporary, victory for their own freedom to take a drug that has worked for them even if its effectiveness has not been demonstrated to the FDA’s satisfaction.
Everyone is familiar with the routine when visiting a doctor’s office: The doctor or his assistant checks the patient’s vital signs, then discusses any symptoms the patient is experiencing and examines him in relation to those symptoms. If the patient is anything less than healthy, the doctor prescribes a course of treatment.
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is putting taxpayers’ money where his mouth is. On August 31, he signed an executive order directing state agencies not to apply for any discretionary funds under ObamaCare.
ObamaCare makes every American’s health the government’s business, but Barack Obama is not the only member of his family interested in employing the federal government as our national nanny. His wife, Michelle Obama, is equally concerned with using her own bully pulpit and her husband’s power as a means of whipping Americans into shape — for our own good, of course.
You may have been aware that the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Act, better known as ObamaCare, mandates that chain restaurants with at least 20 locations display nutritional information about the items on their menus. You may not, however, have been aware that the same law also requires vending-machine operators to display calorie counts for all items in their machines.
In a March 13 op-ed for the Washington Post, President Barack Obama’s lead pollster, Joel Benenson, wrote: “When it comes to health care and insurance, once reform passes, the tangible benefits Americans will realize will trump the fear-mongering rhetoric opponents are stoking today.”
ObamaCare in microcosm: Beginning this school year, the University of North Carolina will require all students to have health insurance. Students who are not covered by a private plan will be automatically enrolled in a campus plan — a plan that, if not for the efforts of a pro-life student group, would have forced every enrollee to be covered for elective abortions.
“Four Massachusetts community hospitals are investigating how thousands of patient health records, some containing Social Security numbers and sensitive medical diagnoses, ended up in a pile at a public dump,” began an August 13 Boston Globe report.
Medicare’s chief actuary Richard Foster has been a thorn in the side of both Republican and Democratic Presidents.
According to legend, in the bad old days before the federal government got into the business of regulating pharmaceuticals, Americans routinely fell prey to unsafe “snake oil” products. Consumers, so the story goes, are simply unable to sift through all the necessary information about available drugs to determine which ones are safe and effective; and pharmaceutical companies, ever eager to cut costs and increase profits, care little for the ill effects their drugs may have on consumers. Thus, the government must step in and force companies to make their products safe in order to protect benighted Americans from the unscrupulous drug manufacturers.