Monday, December 6, 2010

7 People died yesterday, today and will die tomorrow....needlessly.

In the state of Florida, due to the proliferation of "Pill Mills" 7 people die each day from prescription drug overdoses. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. The active ingredient in Percodan and percocet and endocet is Oxy, as it is in Oxycoden. The difference is the carrier in the pill. In Oxy, the carrier is naproxen sodium or Alleve. This over the counter drug enhances any drug it is taken with, hence, that is the reason oxy is so much more powerful than its other forms. BUT, naproxen is a dangerous drug. Just read the side effects someday: kidney failure is the biggest, pancreatic failure, liver failure and so forth. In other words: Death, slow and painful. When my doctor discovered I was taking 1 naproxen twice a day, not even the recommended dose of 2 twice a day, he promptly ordered kidney, liver and pancreatic function tests for me and I will be retested every four weeks as long as I take this drug for arthritis. It is the only thing that works on osteoarthritis. A doctor friend of his had suffered kidney failure from taking the recommended dosage a month earlier! This was a DOCTOR!
Those figures of 7 people do not contain the number of people dying due to kidney, liver and pancreatic failure caused by prolonged overdoses of the carriers in the top three drugs. Their death certificates just read kidney failure, liver failure or pancreatic failure, not drug overdose. So, the real death toll is unknown.
On November 23rd, the Republican legislature, drunk with power, overrode a veto by ex-Governor Chris and were blessed by new Governor Scott, that kept the pill mills in business. It has made it next to impossible for state health officials to regulate "pill mills"because they are a cash only business. They over rode this veto 1 day before the new regulations were to take effect allowing regulators to demand records from them. Hummmmm.....Gee, did a few famous Republican Tea partiers need their pills?
Now, not even a stupid Republican would vote for putting "pill Mills" in business. What they voted for was a law that at first glance was designed to crack down on expensive business regulations. Regulating the "pill mills" was just an unfortunate side effect along with the 119 people that have died since their little oops.
The stupid person was the guy who voted these yahoos into office thinking they were about to save tax dollars. Why you ask? Well, let's take a look at the law they passed to save us money.
This law requires legislative approval of any law that will cost more than 1 million dollars over 5 years to implement. First off, that is chump change: $20.000.00 a year. No law is going to come in under that wire, so every law, local or otherwise, must now be approved by the Republican Legislature. Feeling warm and fuzzy yet?
It gets waaaay better. In order to prove the worthiness of a law, a feasibility study that calculates the comprehensive cost over 5 years containing the adverse impact over five years on (1)economic growth, (2)competitiveness, (3)employment investment (hiring people), (4) job creation or (5)regulatory costs. Too bad no one calculated how much it will cost to propose a regulation change. I estimate the study to see if a regulation has to go to the Republican legislature will cost around a quarter to half a million dollars and I am a book keeper with a good handle on prices. .Just think about how much it cost to spend a half hour doing your taxes last year with a clerk at HRBlock and multiply it by 16 and then by about 60 days and that figure by at least 3 because a CPA will have to sign off on this work.
Are you feeling really dumb yet? Every proposed rule change in the state of Florida will have this price tag, not just the ones that hit the million dollar mark. Those will cost more as they have to be prepared for the Republican legislature.
Now, agencies like the those who regulate health care do not have the personel or expertise to do these studies. They will have to hire outside accoutning firms that specialize in this kind of work. You will find them neatly clustered in the state capitol owned by big donors to the Republican Party, but we all know that is just a coincidence because those people are saving us money...RIGHT?
Ron K. our previous Democratic senator had an office staff like more elected officials. The average yearly salary in a Democratic office is $40,000.00 with the manager making around 70,000.00 if that. The average price of a Republican staff member is over $90,000.00 with the manager and key members making over $140,00.00 a year. This represents by electing the budget cutting Republicans a saving of.....well, I was a math major and I can't even massage those figures....Are you feeling really stupid yet???
Well, there is more. Last year Charlie overrode a bill passed by the Republican legislature that required a woman to have an ultrasound before terminating a pregnancy, the price of which is at least $700.00, effectively removing the right to choose from all poor and most middle class women. Insurance is not paying for that ultrasound. The pro-lifers rejoiced. What they failed to see is that the state of Florida is now populated by huge chains of medical test facilities doing ultrasounds, MRI's and CAT scans. These are private businesses and guess who they were donating to? Yes, your local Republican candidate because this law would have been a windfall for them. And what is a woman going to see on this ultrasound at less than four weeks? Basically a fish because that is the stage of development an embryo is at. Most of us squint at these things even at 3 or 4 months as the proud parents beam at the new baby. If someone doesn't show it to us, we sure can't see it. I try to not say the words: looks like a tadpole to me. Are you sure that frog turned into prince charming? You can be sure that law will also be revisited because the private health care industry contributed big time to the Republicans you voted for. If you aren't feeling really screwed by now, I can go on.....but in the meantime, another person just died from an overdose of pills he received at an unregulated "Pain Clinic". Oh, and those figures do not reflect the number of people dying in West Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky from the pills purchased here and taken back there for sale. The Republicans are very moral people, aren't they? Personally, I'm feeling a little sick.

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