Celebrating Our “Freedoms”

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The Fourth is not far away… calendar-wise. But the Spirit of ’76 is long gone.

In most states, we “free” people aren’t even free to buy fireworks ((other than pathetic sparklers and such) to celebrate the Fourth.

Too dangerous, we’re told.in chains

Or, buy medicine without the permission of a doctor. Who of course we’re obliged to pay in order to get his permission. If we don’t obtain his permission – and attempt to buy the medicine we need – it’s a crime. We can be jailed for attempting to care for ourselves without the government’s permission. We can’t even buy non-prescription cold medicine without an elaborate process of showing ID and having our purchase registered in a database in order to make sure we are not making meth with the stuff.

The Mexicans are more free than we are.

Seriously.

You do not need permission from a doctor (or the state) to get medicine south of the border. You just go to the pharmacy and – with the pharmacist’s help (not mandatory) you get what you need. They do not send SWAT teams to your home if you bought “too much” Sudafed.

In Mexico, adults are not treated like low-IQ children who must be perpetually supervised by Those Who Know Best.

As here.

Where people are presumed incompetent (and guilty until they prove themselves innocent).obama 1

You can’t even get contact lenses without permission in the “land of the free.” You have to get a prescription first. Even though the usual excuses don’t apply. How are you going to OD on contacts? (And they can’t be melted down to make meth…I don’t think.)

Before you know it, they’ll be requiring us to see – and pay – a podiatrist before we’re allowed to buy a pair of Dr. Scholl’s inserts.

They even force us to buy a specific brand of contact lens by writing the prescription for that brand only. This is like being told when you’re shopping for a new car that you have to buy a Toyota.

You – the person paying for the contacts – are not allowed to select an alternative brand not listed on the paperwork.

You can’t choose a less-costly option without another prescription (as is still allowed with regard to generic versions of name-brand drugs) which means another visit to the eye doctor – and another bill – which your insurance will probably not cover. The deliberate purpose of this rigmarole is to steer you to one brand of contact via your doctor, who has become a kind of proxy salesman for that brand of contact.

It’s a form of payola – with us paying the freight.

Johnson & Johnson, which dominates the contact lens market, wants to use Uncle to cinch the net just that little bit tighter. The company is pushing legislation (S. 2777) which would require optometrists to “verify” – via dedicated phone lines – the authenticity of each individual prescription they already issued before the sale of the contacts is allowed.Uncle pic

Like the despicably named “Patriot” act, the legislation carries an Orwellian title: The Contact Lens Consumer Health Protection Act. In fact, the legislation – sponsored by Sen. John Boozman – is about protecting the interests of the contact lens cartel at the expense of the interests of the people who buy and wear contacts. It specifically requires that “contact lenses must be dispensed exactly as the prescription is written by the doctor” and would impose $40,000 fines per “violation” on Internet sellers who dare to offer lower-cost alternatives to what the good doctor (Boozman himself is one) has “exactly written.”

I came across this gem example of our “freedoms” while compiling other outrages for a column I’ve been working on about the Fourth of July – about what a sick joke it’s become to wave the red, white and blue every July like cattle celebrating the magnificence of their pen and the magnanimity of the rancher.

In the United States, doctors (and “health care” workers generally) have become something of a priest class – like cops – who must be obeyed and deferred to with a kind of doggy devotion.

It is not for us to make decisions about our health – like a dog at the vet. It is up to his master to make those decisions.

You are not be trusted – not allowed – to make decisions. Even to the extent of shopping around for contact lenses, which aren’t even drugs. What’s the worst that could happen? That your vision gets a little blurry?

And even if it does, isn’t the point – if you’re “free” – that it’s your vision? Your eyes? Your health? Your body?

Are we owned?

By what right – if we’re “free” – do other people presume to make decisions for us about our own bodies, contrary to what we’d like to do?

They don’t do it in Mexico.

Or, for that matter, in Europe. In either place – less “free” than the United States, we’re told – people can get contacts without prescriptions, just as we can still (for now) get reading glasses without first having to pay tribute to the health insurance mafia.

Probably not for long.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I got a taste Tuesday of the medical “thing” when I went to my “new” doc. I had a woman doc before and was probably the best one I’d ever had except for my recently deceased cousin who began his practice in the 40’s and I rarely saw just because of distance. He could look you over and tell you what was bothering you. They haven’t taught that in many decades.

    My new doc I have seen twice now, went back over what I originally told him as he did with my wife. Gee, read the frickin chart or is this a test? Is he trying to ascertain if my symptoms change from one time to another?

    After my last appointment a couple months ago I immediately had some severe problems and I’ll tell them to you since this might affect some people on this site.

    I had been putting in 14 hour days in Step Child with no a/c with stops at either end in places with no breeze and a truck cooking me from the bottom up. For those not familiar with a big rig, heat builds all day in every part of it. The coolant temp may not change but the entire rigs is a huge heat sink so those types of days aren’t for the faint of heart or faint of anything except maybe to faint.

    I began to have my sweat soaked crotch bother me till my scrotum was actually bleeding along with my thighs. This is a difficult thing to work with day after day and I tried many remedies including an ointment my wife had from knee surgery that helped a great deal and would let me sleep. I also had nerves in extremities bothering me and finally bothered me in my entire body to the extent I couldn’t sleep at all, just having nerves firing like crazy, burning, tingling, intense itching and actual severe pain. Life really sucked. I kept racking my mind. I had suffered something similar but not to the extent of this before and then I recalled another doc I had who addressed the bloody scrotum years ago. He said “Well, you either have diabetes or need to change your hypertension meds. ” No diabetes so he changed meds, things cleared up, life returned to whatever you might consider normal.

    In a fit of misery I stopped taking my hypertension drug and in 3 days or so I as mending well, a week later and very little nerve pain nor scrotum problem. A couple weeks and nerve pain was gone, something I’d suffered from for years.

    My cousin has the same problem and I hope the cause is the same as mine since he takes hypertension drugs also.

    The problem with these who view themselves as the final word is they’re constantly learning though loathe to admit it. My doc is early-mid 50’s and he said my change of hypertension drugs was “interesting” as if the other doc was just shooting in the dark. The first time I and my wife saw him he was speaking with her and said since we were about the same age(doesn’t read the chart)we had a lot in common. My wife said he looked young for his age so he inquired as to my age. When she told him he was shocked and said well, maybe we’re not the same age.

    Now my BP is up there on the edge of bad but I feel almost like a new person. more zip, better sleep, etc. Since our daily temps are now over 100 and the showers coming through keep the humidity above normal west Tx. levels working is still a drag but have few symptoms of bad health and would probably feel fine with a working a/c. And yes, I am filling out new work apps.

    Well, I don’t know, but I’ve been told
    You never slow down, you never grow old
    I’m tired of screwin’ up, tired of going down
    Tired of myself, tired of this town

    Oh, my my, oh, hell yes
    Honey, put on that party dress
    Buy me a drink, sing me a song
    Take me as I come ’cause I can’t stay long

    Last dance with Mary Jane
    One more time to kill the pain
    I feel summer creepin’ in
    And I’m tired of this town again

  2. “like cattle celebrating the magnificence of their pen and the magnanimity of the rancher”
    Or did you mean ‘like cattle celebrating the magnificence of their abbatoir and the magnanimity of the butcher’?

  3. Why am I finding out about this goofy bill on an automotive blog? Oh, right, because 70% of the revenue for the TV news comes from pharmaceutical companies (at least in non-election years).

  4. Speaking of contact lenses, if your like me and prefer the non-disposable kind, they are getting very hard to even find. Most are being removed completely from the market. My doctor says my current pair are likely the last I will have. I will probably have to go back to glasses since the disposable ones really don’t work for me.

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