Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Florida: The Only State to Consider Saying NO on Anti-Viral Meds

If the United States were represented by people, New York would be a brash businessman, Texas would be a cowboy, and Florida would be a clown with a large red nose and floppy shoes.

49 states have made the decision to purchase their share of discounted antiviral drugs to develop a state stockpile in the event of an influenza epidemic (which experts universally assure us is coming). However, Florida is dragging its size 20 shoes.

"The chairman of the House committee in charge of that budget said the five-year shelf life of the drugs leaves him skeptical. "It just doesn't rank as one of my priorities," Rep. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach said last week," according to the St. Pete Times article today.

Leave it to a Republican* to decide that public healthcare and saving lives isn't cost-effective. Er, even though Bean is the Chairman of the House Healthcare Council.

I wanted to know what Rep. Bean has as his priorities, since potentially saving lives isn't one. So, I googled him, and was very impressed to see that...

1. He spearheaded a campaign this March to encourage fellow legislators to lose weight. Weigh-ins were held every week. As he so wittily said, "Nobody likes pork in government. But as legislators, we can't resist the pork chops, mashed potatoes and ham sandwiches."

2. He made sure that Florida courtrooms no longer have convicted felons serving as jurors. Hey, that's pretty good, huh? Oh... yeah, they shouldn't have been there in the first place.

3. In 2005, he sponsored a bill that made Florida’s 68 abortion clinics one step closer to being required to operate according to the health and safety standards which are required of other medical facilities in the state. Well now, that's pretty good, right? Oh... yeah, they are a medical facility and should already have been held to those standards.

4. In Feb. 2007, "Rep. Bean stated that health care costs were consuming too much of Florida’s budget and that due to expected increases in healthcare costs, the Medicaid program needed to be reformed. Additionally, Mr. Bean praised the “marketplace” theory of healthcare in that beneficiaries are more likely to get quality care if private organizations such as HMOs are competing for the beneficiaries’ business," reported Sarah Sullivan.

Isn't that typical Republican-Businessman reasoning? We know how well our healthcare is already doing under the HMOs. Good thing we don't have to deal with such a thing as corporate greed.

Now, Rep. Bean is probably the typical legislator: Neither good nor bad, with few things that will distinguish him the annals of history (even though he is the Chairman of the House Healthcare Council). I'm sure that he's done some things that were correct, and contributed towards the good of all mankind.

However, it is obvious that Bean is more interested in the daily minutiae than he is in the big picture. It's time for him to behave responsibly and look beyond the simple challenges.

* "Hello, my name is Saur and I'm a Republican." But I'm a moderate Republican that carefully weighs out all points of view. I despise knee-jerk politicians on both sides of the aisle.


Ed Abbey said...

I'm guessing about three fourths of all legislation passed I just have to shake my head and sigh. I've long thought that we have lost the way envisioned by our country's forefathers.

Matt said...

My conservative side definately falls away from the business end of conservatism.

Let's just let all of the people into our country and forget about minimum wages while we're at it. We're all intelligent beings free to market our own time and skills, right?

Florida's a douche.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Point 1 - pork chops and ham sandwiches? So I take it all the fat law makers are not Jewish huh?

Point 2 - Do convicted felons show up for jury duty in the first place? I know that non-felons try to avoid that like the plague.

Point 3 - just another attempt to overturn Roe Vs Wade outside of the courts. The clinics are already run by doctors and use all the machines that go ping as a hospital.

Point 4 - making our health care system "for profit" is a terrible mistake. As soon as you are no longer profitable the HMOs try to kill you by prolonging care for as long as they can. But as long as the HMOs do not want to pay for abortions (they do not - they do not really want to pay for ANYTHING cause that cuts into the profit) then Republicans love HMOs. HMOs want you to pay the premiums, then get sick and die really fast before you can run up a bill.

Your last paragraph needs some editing. I would change one line to "not good at all, and borderline evil".

United We Lay said...

All I can say is that I'm glad I got the hell out of Florida!

Miss Cellania said...

It can't be just the shelf-life issue thats holding up the vaccines in this case. It has to be the cost, or just plain stubborness, if Florida is the ONLY state holdout.

I hope your emergency worked itself out OK.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I like your opening analogy Saur.

Cranky Yankee said...


exMI said...

Wouldn't it be interesting to know why the abortion clinics AREN'T required to maintain the same stnadards as other medical clinics?