Drug database bill is “Obamacare Lite”

During last year’s congressional debate over ObamaCare, many Republican state legislators in Georgia voiced strong opposition to this so-called “reform” law.  Their concerns ranged from the questionable constitutionality of the law, to its cost, and to the destructive manner in which the law would affect the doctor-patient relationship.

How soon they forget.

Here we are, barely a year later, and Georgia Republicans are pushing to enact a prescription drug monitoring database bill, with support from the Obama Administration.  This legislation would have much the same effect on Georgia citizens as the federal legislation – it is of questionable constitutionality, it is costly, and it undercuts the doctor-patient relationship.

Prescription-drug database advocates, however, justify their support for this Big Government proposal because Georgia is the only state in the southeast that has not yet instituted such a database.  They also are clamoring to enact the legislation because the federal government has promised to “give” Georgia money to start up the program.

Georgia Republicans, however, should look south, where new Florida Gov. Rick Scott is taking steps to deny funding for his state’s drug database (passed just last year by the legislature).  Scott cites privacy concerns and the likelihood that taxpayers eventually would be stuck with the cost of running the program, which would be far more than the initial grant money from Uncle Sam.

Georgia Sen. Buddy Carter’s version of the prescription drug monitoring program, SB 36, has already cleared the Senate by a vote for 49 to 6, and is currently awaiting action by the House, where privacy advocates have managed to delay advancement of prescription drug monitoring bills. A recent report from the Chattanooga Times Free Press notes that HB 184, sponsored by Rep. Tom Weldon (R-Ringgold), has been re-written to exclude anti-anxiety and weight-loss drugs, as well as steroids from the list of prescription drugs that would have to be reported to the database. Supporters of the more expansive Senate bill complain that federal funding to run the database would not be available if these medications were exempted.

This dispute illustrates clearly that the real reason many Georgia officials and legislators are pressing for creation of the prescription drug database is, in a word — Money.

Moreover, while we are told there are safeguards being put in place to ensure patient privacy, once such a database is implemented, federal agencies as well as various agencies here in Georgia and in other states all would be permitted to access the data (always for the “correct” reasons, of course).  And, virtually every Georgian having a prescription filled for pain medication would find themselves treated like a criminal, in that such information would be reported to law enforcement.  All this simply to make it easier for the state to catch the relatively few people who abuse prescription drugs.

If the Georgia General Assembly passes a prescription drug monitoring bill, Gov. Nathan Deal should follow in the footsteps of his Florida colleague, and veto the legislation; even it means losing a few pieces of federal silver.

- by Bob Barr, The Barr Code

67 comments Add your comment

Not a Barr fan

March 16th, 2011
6:20 am

After you are done trying to reinstate Baby Doc as dictator of Haiti, which dictator will you try to help next? Gadahfi? These must be good bills if you are against them

sean Yankee

March 16th, 2011
6:54 am

Ah, our daily dose of paranoia from Mr. Barr

DebbieDoRight

March 16th, 2011
7:22 am

The “Barr” Code huh? What does it consist of? Paranoia, fear, lies and obstructive judgement? You failed to mention in your article that “ObamaCare” is modeled after “RomneyCare” in Massachussetts & that seems to be doing quite well, is not a strain on the state budget AND is paying for itself by decreasing the Medicaide/Medicare Dollars the state spends annually. Oh well, if you did point that out then I wouldn’t be able to call you a hypocrite; but since you didn’t………….

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 16th, 2011
7:23 am

Good morning all, I agree with Mr. Barr. This country wastes a fortune enforcing morality-laws, such as the “prescription drug monitoring data-base.” I could not care less if idiots kill themselves with drugs – I think we would do well to hasten them along.

dave

March 16th, 2011
8:26 am

In the crusade against drugs, drug users and doctors who prescribe drugs, all means necessary trumps everything else in the eyes of the conservatives. Its what got them elected to office in the 80’s and they hold onto it like a miser holds onto his gold until his last breath.
They cannot admit the humanity of those who are addicted without first realizing that they have ruined more lives than the drugs themselves. So they will double down on the drug war. Like racism, you sometimes must wait generations for them to die off and hope they do not contaminate their children.

retiredds

March 16th, 2011
8:36 am

Hey, Bob, as an addendum to your post the following is from Business Week:

Republicans and bankers are attacking the new federal watchdog for policing mortgages, credit cards and other financial products four months before the agency even opens its doors.

Another prime example of how the Republicans are for sale to the highest bidder, in this case the same bankers that brought us, in large part, the financial debacle of ‘07 and ‘08.

the watch dog

March 16th, 2011
8:39 am

Is setting up a drug database a remedy of the drug epidemic sweeping the country. Can putting an overuse of certain drugs in a database solve or even slow the insipient growth of drug use?I think not.
Is this a concrete remedy to slow the growth of illicit drugs? I think not.
A large part of of the success in maintaining the confidence of the populance can only come from concret remedies, rather than becoming involved in controversy. This drug database is controversial and at the same time does nothing to slow the spread of drug addicition that is prevading the country. Legislators have to do better, sit down with constituents and get grassroots ideas for this insidious problem that is with us today, the illicit use of dugs.

I think we already know everything Obama does sux

March 16th, 2011
8:39 am

Is there anything that Obama has done that we are legitimately thankful for?

He passed the buck on reducing the deficit, rammed health care down our throats when the majority of Americans screamed they didn’t want it, continues to expand wasteful government. Seriously, do something good for once you moron.

Southerner

March 16th, 2011
8:44 am

These people don’t want to face the facts, the States and Federal Government are broke and the tax payers cannot afford to support the deadbeats anymore.

Carlosgvv

March 16th, 2011
8:54 am

We should all know by now that when the Government promises to “give Georgia money”, our politicians will act like pigs at the trough. Do not expect this kind of behavior to ever change.

bill

March 16th, 2011
9:17 am

Romneycare is doing well? It is a total disaster! when are y’all gonna learn taking care of “deadbeats” is a losing proposition! Lord have nercy!!

bill

March 16th, 2011
9:19 am

typo = mercy not nercy …sorry

DebbieDoRight

March 16th, 2011
9:32 am

The so-called “deadbeats” are usually the working poor. You know them, you’ve seen them around. These are the people who work at Fast food joints, etc.; who have jobs but still can’t afford healthcare. They make enough to pay rent, utiltiies, and put food on the table–that’s it.

Also FYI the biggest drain on our money is not Medicaide it’s MEDICARE. Now go and tell Grandma and Grandpa who worked all their lives and were depending on Medicare in their old age; that you’re going to cut their deadbeat azzes off of Medicare. Do that, then you’ll get to experience an old lady behind whipping that’ll make you a star on youtube.

Supreme Being

March 16th, 2011
9:33 am

Carlos … “our politicians will act like pigs at the trough”

I think you hit on a new logo to replace the Donkey and the Elephant! Anything to fund their coffers to get re-elected. An all expense paid family trip to Europe as enjoyed by Mr. Ralston is another great benefit. Oh yeah…he was fact finding…right! Oink!

poison pen

March 16th, 2011
9:42 am

Debbie, your comments about the Massachussetts are totally incorrect. I suggest you rear the New York Times story written in March, 2008 ot the Fortunt magazine story, just to name a few.
Their Health care bill is bankrupting their state.

Please don’t write lies it makes you look dumb, try doing some research first.

poison pen

March 16th, 2011
9:42 am

Meant Fortune magazine

poison pen

March 16th, 2011
9:46 am

Damn, I need more coffee, my spelling is horrible today, sorry.

[...] By Bob Barr via the Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

Carlosgvv

March 16th, 2011
9:53 am

Supreme Being

Shame would stop you and I from acting like that. Unfortunately, they have no shame and only laugh at us. I wonder if we will ever be able to change this?

DebbieDoRight

March 16th, 2011
10:25 am

poison pen – you cite an article written in 2008; I’m reading things printed by the state of MA in 2010; hmmmmm who looks stooooopid now?

Original Thought not Necessary

March 16th, 2011
10:29 am

“I think we already know everything Obama does sux
March 16th, 2011
8:39 am

Is there anything that Obama has done that we are legitimately thankful for?

He passed the buck on reducing the deficit, rammed health care down our throats when the majority of Americans screamed they didn’t want it, continues to expand wasteful government. Seriously, do something good for once you moron.”

Wow, that was constructive. And so insightful. Now I know that I don’t have to pay attention to anything that happens in DC if it involved the President. Just oppose EVERYTHING he does without any critical thought and I’m going to look like I’m in the know.

Seriously, I’m no real fan of our President nor was I a real fan of his predecessor. But just like everyone else in life Bush did some good things and some crazy bad things just as Obama is doing some good things and some crazy bad things. But to understand which is which requires careful reading, some effort and quite frankly an intellectual curiosity that seems to have gone the way of the dodo in today’s political environment. We’ve replaced these elements with the knee jerk reaction “I think we already know everything [insert politician's name here with appropriate R or D designation depending on which news channel you watch] does sux.”

I know I’m new here and I’ll agree that this seems like a continuation of my “attack” on the simplistic rantings of WOW yesterday but I think this is as important an issue as any I’ve read about in recent times. My point being simply this: exercise some critical thinking skills, put down the broad brush attacks and open your eyes to the FACT that the world is not as black and white as [R] and [D]. If we as a society can move in that direction we might rediscover what appears to be a forgotten truth: We are all Americans and our disagreements, if worked through constructively, will make us stronger and we will return to the days when the rest of world saw us as what we truly are: a bastion of freedom and a true democracy that works.

Herman Cain

March 16th, 2011
10:31 am

DebbieDoNothing calling anyone a hypocrite is like calling obozo a leader. As far as her version of deadbeats being the working poor, more garbage spewed from the mouth of debbie/ jay bookman in drag. The deadbeats are the gimme people like that cow on the news a few months back in Cobb County squeezed in her spandex outfit with a cellphone in her hand screaming ” show me the money” while in line to get her utility bills paid by THE WORKING POOR.

Varsity Fries

March 16th, 2011
10:32 am

Thanks to Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, T-H-E Dumbest quote we will hear or read this week will not come from an AJC writer or reader, Gilbert Gottfried, the New York Liberty’s Cappie Pondexter, Michael Gearon, Bruce Levenson, Arthur Blank, Miley Cyrus or our JiveTalker-in-Chief Obama.

Good Work, A-P.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 16th, 2011
10:52 am

Dear Original Thought @ 10:29,good morning, I side with our friend “I think” @ 8:39. For me it was a growing realiization during the 1970s, that seemingly every policy and every law that President Carter pursued was 180 degrees from that which was a more rational approach. As the post-presidential years have continued to prove the thesis sound, I now accept that as a truism for Mr. Carter.

Given the proof on Mr. Carter, it was easy for me to accept that truth earlier on the current resident of the Oval Office.

I credit Mr. Carter for getting three and one half-initiatives right during his administration: (1) abolition of the ICC, (2) effective abolition of the CAB, and (3) effective repeal of FRS Reg Q, and we give him one-half point for the Camp David accords (the diminished credit is due to the fct that it had no direct benefit to the US.)

So far I grant the current occupant of the Oval Office with one-half credit (the surge in Afghanistan, diminished for the three-month dithering on a no-brainer), with another potential point pending (if his leadership guides Egypt to anything other than Iran II.) Thus he remains a solid two points below tying the worst president in modern times, with only 19 months to go.

Andy Jones

March 16th, 2011
11:02 am

Interesting news! I wonder if this’ll be posted on Twenty-First Tycoon. http://www.21Tycoon.com

DebbieDoRight

March 16th, 2011
11:07 am

HermanCain: DebbieDoNothing calling anyone a hypocrite is like calling obozo a leader. As far as her version of deadbeats being the working poor, more garbage spewed from the mouth of debbie/ jay bookman in drag

This is the fall back of the conServ-a-Tron; resort to name calling when you can’t dispel/dispute the truth of a statement. Sad, but oh so predictable.

Herman Cain

March 16th, 2011
11:16 am

debbiebedwetter, let’s look back, you called Bob Barr a hypocrite and Poison Pen stoooopid in just a few short hours on this very blog. By your definition of name calling, when did you see the light and come over to the correct side. As far truth of a statement, your take on the deadbeats was sad but oh so predictable.

killerj

March 16th, 2011
11:19 am

What part of “The money,s running out” do you not understand Bob? you know when these two parties work together that something stinks.Go Tea Party.

Jefferson

March 16th, 2011
11:45 am

When socialized medicine eventually takes hold here in the US, the rich will just pay for private care, not a whole lot difference than now, they just don’t want to take their social responsibilty of being a civilized American seriously, because of their love of money.

Herman Cain

March 16th, 2011
11:59 am

no, george jefferson. that is where you are wrong. Civilized Americans are sick of paying for every julio and his illegal offspring that slither across the border as well as the deadbeats and worthless that will do nothing to help themselves other than spit out babies and collect food stamps. I for one don’t mind helping anyone that attempts to help themself, but I’ll be damned if I will volunteer to help any lay-about that thinks they deserve what I have because I have chosen the right paths and they have played the system.

Paulo977

March 16th, 2011
12:11 pm

DebbieDoRight

“These are the people who work at Fast food joints, etc.; who have jobs but still can’t afford healthcare. They make enough to pay rent, utiltiies, and put food on the table–that’s it.” You’ve said it … We are collectively elitist , selfish and also UNINFORMED about the importance of a healthy workforce!! Even though thebill did not go far enough it was a step in the right direction!!

Supreme Being

March 16th, 2011
12:16 pm

Hey Jefferson…I am considered rich, but I have news for you. I work damn hard for everything I have. I send my kids to private school and pay for the healthcare of the 5 people I employ so they can have benefits. And my employees earn their money too and pay their tax burden. Do I feel rich??? No way…but according to the President I am and therefor should be happy that I can afford to pay a little more tax. Too bad I can’t hire another employee. I know…I’ll just take the extra tax money out of my gas fund for my jet or from my butler’s salary…oh wait I don’t have a plane or a butler. But I am an “evil rich guy” that puts bread on the table for 5 other families besides my own. And now I have to pay more taxes so the “working poor” can have healthcare, in addition to the 20% premium increase I just paid thanks to Obamacare and to keep bedwetters like you out of the poor house.

Native Atlantan

March 16th, 2011
12:31 pm

This legislation is nothing short of assanine. What business is it of anyone what prescription drugs I take? My doctors and pharmacy know, and that is all who should. For the group looking for “less government”, this is yet another step in the wrong direction.

will

March 16th, 2011
12:37 pm

The sole purpose of drug monitoring legislation is to help stem the tide of prescription drugs that are flooding Georgia and killing our citizens, young people in particular. More deaths are caused by misused prescription drugs in Georgia than from heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine combined. Ask your teenagers if they have ever heard of or been to a “Pharm Party”.

poison pen

March 16th, 2011
12:37 pm

Debbie, there are articles that are up to date that tell a different story about their financial state.
I don’t lie like some other people.

Really

March 16th, 2011
12:38 pm

Debbie, I would like to know what alternative reality you live in? Massachusetts is so far in debt they are about to go under, 12% of the population is on food stamp assistance with a debt of over $15,000 per person in the state. Romney care is losing over $100,000 million a year, for a liberal Marxist I guess that is doing quite well, right Debbie?

http://www.usdebtclock.org/state-debt-clocks/state-of-massachusetts-debt-clock.html

Ben Franklin

March 16th, 2011
12:41 pm

Debbie…kind of hard to make a cute comback when you don’t have the facts to support your position isn’t it. Maybe you can send some “show me the money” signs up to yoru friends in Massch.

poison pen

March 16th, 2011
12:53 pm

Debbie, their plan is extremely expensive and it still leaves a lot of people out of it, they are running out of money.
please see articles by,
Wall Street Journal
NPR, your favorite leftie source.
Boston Globe
Fox News
and many others.

I know the liberals want to keep their hands out for more, as this is all they know.

DawgDad

March 16th, 2011
1:08 pm

“Scott cites privacy concerns and the likelihood that taxpayers eventually would be stuck with the cost of running the program, which would be far more than the initial grant money from Uncle Sam.”

“. . . the likelihood that taxpayers eventually would be stuck . . .” How utterly repugnant. Where does the Uncle Sam money come from???

I consider it highly immoral to accept Federal [taxpayer] money to fund an initiative that otherwise would NOT be funded by the State.

Get the Feds out of health care. Period.

DebbieDoRight

March 16th, 2011
1:14 pm

debbiebedwetter, let’s look back, you called Bob Barr a hypocrite and Poison Pen stoooopid in just a few short hours on this very blog. By your definition of name calling, when did you see the light and come over to the correct side. As far truth of a statement, your take on the deadbeats was sad but oh so predictable.

HermanCain I had no idea, (although I could’ve guessed) that you had a reading comprehension problem!! If you look over my post to BBBob, I said I could call him a hypocrite, but I didn’t. And as for the the poison guy he called me a name first. Do I not have the right to defend myself? Can only the people on the “right” do that? It’s called reee-sipp-Prick-katio,! (I spelled it phonetically for you because I know you have a comprehension problem), by returning the favor so to speak.

As for predictability, you stroking Barr’s ummmmmm ego, is predictable………and pathetic. But I figure you for the attention-seeking-hero-worshipping type.

DebbieDoRight

March 16th, 2011
1:16 pm

oh my I hit the (,) instead of the (n) and mis spelled reciprocation (phonetically). My oh my, I hope I didn’t confuse poor HermanCain. HermanCain if I have please forgive me — I don’t wish to confuse you any futher than you already are. Sorry. :sad:

Goldie

March 16th, 2011
1:17 pm

Typical Bob Barr paranoia and hypocritical reaction to “privacy” and what that means to him alone… I wonder if he still believes it’s the government’s right to invade a woman’s privacy if she chooses a birth control method he doesn’t agree with? His blog should be called “Bob Barr, No Government Intrusion, EVER… Oh, Except For Women, That Is!”

Naysayer

March 16th, 2011
1:41 pm

Debbie Do Right … I guess you will just continue to ignore the fact that you got totally schooled with the facts and you cannot support your whiny and uninformed position about Romneycare. You sound like an even bigger moron while lamely droning on about phonetic spelling.

DebbieDoRight

March 16th, 2011
1:49 pm

Dude what facts? Citing an article that’s 4 years old is not showing documents that offer “facts”; it’s showing an article that offered an “opinion”. If you truly want to see facts, go on the state of Massachussetts’ website. But you won’t…..it’s easier to remain blind than to open your eyes and see the light.

No draft-dodger '66

March 16th, 2011
2:00 pm

Bob – Thanks for the robo call yesterday asking us to vote against SPLOST in Cobb County. Not only did it remind us of the special election, I’ve learned to do or believe the exact opposite of everything you say.

I normally wouldn’t vote for a sales tax, but if you are against it must be the right thing to do!

Jefferson

March 16th, 2011
2:09 pm

Crybabies, greedy ones at that is what I read.

Jefferson

March 16th, 2011
2:10 pm

It will happen and you can’t stop it.

poison pen

March 16th, 2011
2:15 pm

Debbie, if you go to The White House web site you will see how great they think they are doing also.

While I consider myself a Moderate and not a Liberal, Mass. is still in deep dodo, but if you want to believe them instead of all the other news agencies who have investigated this story, so be it.

Naysayer

March 16th, 2011
3:16 pm

Debbiedodo… you are devoid of facts yourself…except the self serving opinions on a state website about how well their state program is doing. Are you so stupid to think they would say their own program is bankrupting their system???…oh sorry…that was a rhetorical question…of course you are.

Rockerbabe

March 16th, 2011
3:27 pm

One cannot have a relationship with a doctor, unless one can pay for the doctor visit. Since most charity care clinics and a good number of Grady clinics are now closed. . .there is no relationship to be had, if one does not have medical insurance.

Drug databases are a good thing. Most states have them and they work well for all concerned. In GA, when one wants to write a rx for a med, one has to get prior-authorization, which is a waste of time and money and promotes nothing but frustration for all concerned. The private medical insurers do everything they can to deny coverage. So, we need to get the data base up and running asap. . .it will save a lot of time and money in the long run.