REPUBLICANS ON DRUGS….On the subject of Republicans treating legislation as mere vehicles for doling out favors to corporate special interests, one of Josh Marshall’s readers offers up some comments about the Medicare prescription drug bill:
Arbitrary drug classes like benzodiazepenes and barbiturates are specifically excluded from coverage. Congress left no clue as to the legislative intent of the exclusion. Someone seems to have decided that these two drug classes are incompatible with some Biblical teaching. Or maybe the competing drug classes are much more profitable for someone’s campaign contributors (as both benzodiazepines and barbiturates are cheap and produced as generics, unlike their likely treatment alternatives). As a result the nation’s psychiatrists are going batshit right now, trying to figure out what to do with patients on drug regimens for things like seizures.
I don’t know if this was the worst bill ever written, but it’s certainly in the top ten. I’d actually be willing to cut the funding for prescription drugs in half if only they’d let actual policy experts design the implementation of the damn thing. Of course, since Republicans don’t have anybody who cares about policy in this area, that would mean handing it over to Democrats.