Saturday, February 12, 2011

Proof Why Rick Scott Is Gonna Be A Terrible Governor

It's not the damage he's going to do to Florida's schools.  Kinda knew that he was going to destroy public education from Day One.

It's not the damage he's going to do to Florida's environment.  A fragile ecosystem like ours - the threat of drought, water toxicity, etc - was never the concern of conservatives obsessed with land development even in a market incapable of selling new (or even existing) properties.

It's not the damage he's going to do to Florida's social net - the cuts to public employee jobs, killing off service departments, forcibly privatizing services that will actually be MORE EXPENSIVE - in order to justify massive tax cuts to corporations that take everything from the state and GIVE NOTHING BACK.

No.  The proof that Rick Scott is going to be a terrible Governor is how he's ruining the lives in OTHER STATES by seeking to kill a proposed law that would regulate pharmacies by tracking prescription drugs.

Why is this a big deal?

Something called "pill mills".  Thanks to the law, any "pharmacy" in this state can open up to sell medications - pain-killers like Oxycodone - that are perfectly legal but have to be regulated as they are narcotic and deadly when overdosed.  These pill mills create a system where people can come in "claiming" they need pain-killers, get a "doctor" to sign off on a high dosage, and buy them by the hundreds.  The people can then travel to other states that tightly regulate pain-killers and sell the pills on a street corner.  It's hard to arrest a pain-killer seller as the pills ARE legal (you have to prove intent, usually if the dealer is packing tons of the pills).

Florida is currently the nation's primary source of "pill mills".  Thanks to one thing: we currently have no means of tracking prescriptions.  A law passed in 2009 but not yet implemented would do that.  Scott and his pro-business buddies in the State Lege want to kill that law before it even starts, citing it as an "Orwellian" step over our state's medical records.

The problem with allowing these "pill mills" to continue operating is obvious: those pain-killers can be lethal.   There's reportedly seven deaths A DAY in Florida alone.  People get addicted to them pretty quickly too.  And because of their legality (under regulation), pain-killers are easier to get than cocaine and heroin (and maybe even meth).

Scott's excuse that the prescription tracking is "Orwellian" flies in the face of logic.  Other medical records and other prescriptions are tracked all the time.  Considering the massive War On Drugs (with billions spent going after marijuana, one of the least deadly drugs out there), would Scott consider attempts to regulate medical marijuana usage "Orwellian" as well?  Probably not.

Here's Scott's real reason for wanting to kill this regulation:  It's a regulation.  Period.  The Far Right in this country have hate-filled obsessions, one of which is regulations (the others are taxes, Social Security, voting rights, abortion, sex ed, evolution, and freedom marches in other countries).  If there's a regulation on how a business operates, even if that regulation is there to SAVE LIVES, the Far Right wants it gone and gone yesterday.

Here's another reason: Scott's background in medical services.  Not only was he a MASSIVE MEDICARE FRAUD when he ran an HMO, he went on to establish clinics and pharmacies (like Solantic or Pharmaca) to increase his personal wealth.  He's got ties to the state's pharmaceutical industry... an industry that's profiting one way or another from having these "pill mills" stay open.  They profit: he profits.  It's that simple, and that scary.

Forty-two other states have a similar database system in place.  The state office that was supervising it had garnered private grants to begin its funding (it wasn't costing taxpayers much of anything).  There is no reason to oppose such a common-sense program that could well help Florida save millions in law enforcement costs and drug abuse treatments.

Except for one reason: Rick Scott is a greedy-ass crook.  And a terrible governor.

To the 2.5 million Floridians who voted for Scott: I hope your family members are pain-killer addicts.  It's called Karma, enjoy it.

(I know I shouldn't be mean-spirited, but how the hell else you gonna get through to the Far Right how screwed up their priorities and obsessions are?)

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