I don’t like being right…

…well, I don’t like being right when it’s my cynical self doing the talking.

Back in the fall, a lot of very libertarian-minded people refused to support or vote for Mitt Romney under the “He will be just as bad as Obama” theory.  To which I said, “Do you want Obama nominating Antonin Scalia’s replacement?”  (We’ll assume, arguendo, that the two people would be the same, a premise with which I strongly disagree.)  “Oh, Scott Brown is too liberal.”  Hey, guys, he said that his favourite Supreme Court Justice is Scalia, and he voted to filibuster Elena Kagan. 

So, my friends, what do you want to happen if and when the constitutionality of Obama’s twenty-three gun-related executive orders* is challenged?  The orders can be challenged both on the merits, and on the constitutionality of regulating that area via executive order.  Do you want a 5-4 ruling that the President has the right to overrule certain sections of HIPAA, violate state privacy laws, and require states to actively share information on a federal database?  I mean, if you’re cool with that, and if you stayed home in November like eight million other 2008 voters did, then rock on. 

There is also some abject foolishness in the way that doctors are treated by this Administration.  (Yes, this is a health care policy blog; here’s some health care policy for my wonks out there.)  A potential doctor goes to college, takes at least two semesters each of chemistry, physics, biology, and organic chemistry, then applies to medical school.  Most of those students do not get into any medical school.  The ones who get in spend four more years and over a quarter-million dollars learning about immunology, cancer, anatomy, each system of the body, etc.  Then it’s another four to six years in residency, by which time they are all at least thirty years old, in debt up to their eyeballs, and members of a profession that is somewhat understaffed.

In what screwed-up world are we going to have these people talk about seatbelts, guns in the home**, and other issues?  I’m sorry, if you think that doctors should be spending their precious (and, to us, scarce) time talking about crap that a social worker can handle, you’re delusional.  Nothing against social workers, but if we want every American to spend time talking to a professional about seatbelts, we can do that by having them all talk to a social worker, straight of college, before their doctor’s appointments.  Or before they renew their driver’s licenses.  Requiring doctors to talk about these things is like requiring a Nobel prize-winning physicist to spend half his day scrubbing toilets in the bathroom. 

*By the way, let’s all point out that the slim, slim majority that the Republicans have in Congress is the only reason that this was done via Executive Order; let me also point out that the GOP is only holding Congress because they won so big on the state levels in 2010, which is a census, and therefore a redistricting, year.  Just a thought for 2020, in case anyone wants to play cute party-purity games then.

**The NRA defeated a requirement that all primary-care physicians would talk to their patients about guns in the home.  Seriously, that was part of ‘reforming’ health care and siccing it to insurance companies.


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