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

Steve

March 16th, 2011
3:40 pm

“I could not care less if idiots kill themselves with drugs – I think we would do well to hasten them along.”

Yet Rush Limbaugh with his habit of 30 (yes THIRTY) Oxycontin a day for “pain” is still idolized and transgressions excused. Curious.

Spock

March 16th, 2011
3:54 pm

Yet Rush Limbaugh with his habit of 30 (yes THIRTY) Oxycontin a day for “pain” is still idolized and transgressions excused. Curious.

Brilliant Steve…I bet you got a hernia thinking about that all day while on your pizza delivery route.

Heathcare Administrator

March 16th, 2011
4:16 pm

A woman from Los Angeles purchased a piece of timberland near Colville , WA. There was a large tree on one of the highest points in the tract. She wanted a good view of the natural splendor of her land so she started to climb the big tree. As she neared the top she encountered a spotted owl that attacked her. In her haste to escape, the woman slid down the tree to the ground and got many splinters in her crotch.

In considerable pain, she hurried to a local ER to see a doctor. She told him she was an environmentalist, a democrat, and an anti-hunter and how she came to get all the splinters. The doctor listened to her story with great patience and then told her to go wait in the examining room and he would see if he could help her.

She sat and waited three hours before the doctor reappeared. The angry woman demanded, “What took you so long?” He smiled and then told her, “Well, I had to get permits from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management before I could remove old-growth timber from a “recreational area”, so close to waste treatment facility.
I’m sorry, but due to Obama Care, they turned me down.”

Dr. Pangloss

March 16th, 2011
4:19 pm

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?
—————–

Have fun with http://whattheheckhasobamadonesofar.com/

Common Man

March 16th, 2011
4:41 pm

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

Dr. Pangloss…I am thankful that he is trying to stop smoking.

Tigers Woody

March 16th, 2011
4:47 pm

I am thankful that Obama is becoming a better golfer.

MU in GA

March 16th, 2011
5:39 pm

Hey Bob (and everyone else)……do a Google search on the Oxycontin Express and watch the video, all 47 minutes of it. From that video, you should be able to understand the need of “violating” the doctor patient relationship. Lack of oversight in Florida is causing major problems in other states as you can see in the documentary.

janet

March 16th, 2011
5:41 pm

The costs of RX for Medicare recipients are amazingly high because the seniors don’t care what the original cost vs their cost is because Medicare picks up the difference.They just want their part to be small – doesn’t matter that they could get it cheaper without Medicare. I agree Medicare is a big problem because we have people living much longer than expected and they never paid much if anything into the account. But one stay in a hospital for 5 days recently cost someone I know 30,000 dollars and it was a urinary tract infection…nothing serious but when no one is monitoring the cost this is what happens. And this woman never paid anything into Medicare. She hasn’t worked in over 40 years and when she did it was for 2 years in the 60s. RX is the same.

Bad Bob

March 16th, 2011
6:03 pm

You’re blaming the victim for the high cost of prescription drugs. Bush and his republican congress made it illegal for Medicare or The Govmit to even negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies for a better price.

They also made it illegal for us, as consumers, to buy our medications from Canada or any other country. Not a very free market, free trade or even personal freedom way for the “individual responsibility” republicans to act.

But, they had to do it – The Lobbyists were just too strong! In other words, they were bought and paid for with drug money – like a 10 dollar crack ho.

Come get me, I'm all thru

March 16th, 2011
6:47 pm

Bob,

Lets let the sponsors be personally liable for the inevitable, short term, “data breach”. No state rescue, and see how serious the sponsors are for this data base. Criminal standards should certainly apply.

Feds can’t prevent it now, so why should we expect anything different?
Thankful the health insurance exchange bill is dead, in Georgia. All promise and no guarntee. Pubish your price and open up transparency.

Sen. Carter is a pharmacist, for discussion purposes, what does GPhA want out of this? This should be of some concern for both pro and con!

Late comment, but I’m sure not many have considered “who pays” for
healh care services.

Steve

March 16th, 2011
8:16 pm

“Brilliant Steve…I bet you got a hernia thinking about that all day while on your pizza delivery route.”

Thanks, Spock, for the validating my point. Rush Limbaugh, obese Oxycontin addict, is still a hero to the great unwashed.

Flush with Flourish

March 17th, 2011
8:35 am

I’m not a doctor, but I play with myself when there’s porn on TV, and I prescribe this article by Bob Barr as a panacea for insomnia.

bwa

JiveTalker-in-Chief

March 17th, 2011
10:53 am

Our hearts and prayers go out to the people in Japan and Libya, and I am deeply troubled by the prospect of a government shutdown.

CHECK OUT MY MARCH MADNESS BRACKETS, YO!

[...] The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Drug Database Bill Is “Obamacare Lite” During final year’s congressional discuss over ObamaCare, many Republican state legislators in Georgia uttered clever antithesis to this supposed “reform” law… How shortly they forget. Here we are, hardly a year later, and Georgia Republicans are pulling to order a medication drug monitoring database bill, with support from a Obama Administration. This legislation would have most a same outcome on Georgia adults as a sovereign legislation – it is of controversial constitutionality, it is costly, and it undercuts a doctor-patient attribute (Bob Barr, 3/16). [...]

[...] The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Drug Database Bill Is “Obamacare Lite” During final year’s congressional discuss over ObamaCare, many Republican state legislators in Georgia uttered clever antithesis to this supposed “reform” law… How shortly they forget. Here we are, hardly a year later, and Georgia Republicans are pulling to order a medication drug monitoring database bill, with support from a Obama Administration. This legislation would have most a same outcome on Georgia adults as a sovereign legislation – it is of controversial constitutionality, it is costly, and it undercuts a doctor-patient attribute (Bob Barr, 3/16). [...]

M.S. Freeman

March 18th, 2011
10:46 pm

This could be devastating to a young person with a medical condition that requires a prescription–especially if it is posted on Facebook or on a Blog. Any intern in any medical office could have access to everyone’s medical information. Not good. Defeat this bill by emailing all Georgia Legislators —-http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/2011_12/house/alpha.html
Copy of my e-mail below. feel free to copy & past and flood them with e-mails.

“Please defeat this bill that was introduced by a legislative (pharmacist) whose sincerity and integrity is questionable.
Why allow an intern with access to a computer to also have access to personal medical information? This has the potential to be very harmful to a young person with an illness–especially posted on a Facebook page or Blog.
We have lost so many of our freedoms by legislators introducing and passing bills for personal financial gain on the pretense that it is for “our own good’. I am quite capable of attending to my own medical prescription tracking and needs. Please protect what privacy we have left.
Thank you very much. “

[...] The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Drug Database Bill Is “Obamacare Lite” During final year’s congressional discuss over ObamaCare, many Republican state legislators in Georgia uttered clever antithesis to this supposed “reform” law… How shortly they forget. Here we are, hardly a year later, and Georgia Republicans are pulling to order a medication drug monitoring database bill, with support from a Obama Administration. This legislation would have most a same outcome on Georgia adults as a sovereign legislation – it is of controversial constitutionality, it is costly, and it undercuts a doctor-patient attribute (Bob Barr, 3/16). [...]