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Trump has a point on opioids: It simply takes commitment

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I’ve often said President Trump does best when he leads with his heart. As a disciple of positive-thinking guru Norman Vincent Peale, the president also believes that the foundation of accomplishing anything is mostly a matter of will.

Though will alone doesn’t fix complex problems, in this particular case, Trump is more right than wrong. The president’s remarks on declaring a national health emergency on opioid addiction contained the key phrase.

“We can be the generation the ends the opioid epidemic. We can do it.”

America might not be able to eliminate crime, sin, violence, disease, or hateful worldviews. These are products of the human heart that cannot be removed by human means. But we can, assuredly, stop addiction to harmful drugs, produced by legitimate companies, sold by legitimate pharmacies, and prescribed by legitimate doctors.

We can do this by eliminating the incentives for these doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and manufacturers to keep pumping out the drugs. We can do this by strictly enforcing laws at the state, local, and federal level regarding illegitimate prescriptions. We can do this by limiting and closely monitoring exactly who gets and takes the drugs. We can do this by providing programs to help current addicts beat their demons.

Opioid addiction can be overcome. When it morphs into heroin addiction, it becomes a much more intractable problem. What it first takes to beat this issue is national will to do it.

Money should not really be a limiting factor here. We didn’t put an economic limit on beating the Axis powers in World War II–the war had to be won, and the Greatest Generation had to be the generation to do it. This drug-addiction enemy is just as pernicious and dangerous. If we have another “war on drugs,” it needs to be this.

The problem we face here isn’t one of money: The Hill noted that there’s only $57,000 allocated to public health emergencies. But Congress can allocate more. They should, and they must. With a $4 trillion budget, enormous federal debt, and foreign problems all over the world, we can’t afford to let our country succumb to an issue that can be solved by national will, like drug addiction.

I’m not saying the problem is simple to solve. I’m not saying that it’s easy. I’m not saying that we can save everyone. I’m not saying that money alone will fix it. It will take a change in the way we handle pain management, medical oversight of surgical recovery and physical therapy, and the signs of dependency. We can no longer pack people off to home from the hospital and let them refill their Fentanyl prescriptions. We can’t let people stockpile opioids. We can’t let pill mills operate. And most of all, we might have to send a few drug company executives to prison for their cynical and shameful enabling.

All of that will require action by Congress. And Congress won’t act unless constituents tell them to act. Political grandstanding by state governors, Congressional reps and senators is not helpful here. This has to be a bipartisan effort.

But without the national will, and the political will, to become the generation that ends the opioid epidemic, we cannot do it. With that will, we absolutely can do it.

Watch Trump’s remarks below:

Further reading

Remarks by President Trump on Combatting Drug Demand and the Opioid Crisis | whitehouse.gov

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/10/26/remarks-president-trump-combatting-drug-demand-and-opioid-crisisHere in America, we are once again enforcing the law; breaking up gangs and distribution networks; and arresting criminals who peddle dangerous drugs to our youth. We’re committed to pursuing innovative approaches that have been proven to work, like drug courts.  Our efforts will be based on sound metrics, and guided by evidence and guided by results.  This includes making addiction treatment available to those in prison and to help them eventually reenter society as productive and law-abiding citizens. Together, we will face this challenge as a national family with conviction, with unity, and with a commitment to love and support our neighbors in times of dire need.

Why Trump Won’t Declare Opioids a ‘National Emergency’ | Robert Verbruggen, National Review

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/453152/why-trump-wont-declare-opioids-national-emergencyThe president won’t declare the opioid crisis a “national emergency” today, but he will ask the acting director of the Department of Health and Human Services to declare it a “public-health emergency,” according to assorted media reports. Perhaps the federal government should do more to fight the epidemic, but those efforts should start with Congress, which under the Constitution is supposed to have the power of the purse. “National emergencies” allow the president to spend money in the affected area immediately, and the rules are laid out in the Stafford Act.

 

Managing Editor of NOQ Report. Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jack Krevin

    October 29, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Shrug. As heartbreaking as seeing friends and love ones kill themselves slowly is I guess my problem with all these cries of “we have to do something” is, unless I’m missing something drastic, no one is forcing these people to inject these drugs. They’re doing it to themselves.

    Which is still a problem admittedly. Normal, well-adjusted people wouldn’t be doing this. But the point remains that they’re doing this to seek escape from something. This isn’t like a forest fire or other natural calamity where the people are innocent bystanders swept up into events. Let’s say we end the opioid crisis, what then? Do we make it harder to buy spraypaint if they all start dying from huffing that trying to get high?

    Our society has problems. The old standards have been eaten away and replaced with the left’s increasingly schizophrenic morality. We are increasingly disparate and fractionalized. We increasingly don’t have a national identity or purpose. Ect. Fighting against that, I would think, give these people a sense of purpose and something to take pride in would go a lot farther than rallying against Pharmaceutical companies who serve to fill the need we create.

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Economy

Murkowski opposition to Obamacare penalty reeks of irony

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Murkowski opposition to Obamacare penalty reeks of irony

Mitch McConnell gets a much deserved bad reputation, but by all means, he is far from the worst Republican Senator. The worst is John McCain, easily. Number two arguably is split between Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins. Lisa Murkowski sports a 22% Liberty Score. The low rank is partially attributable to her lack of support for repealing Obamacare. Murkowski wasn’t even supportive of “Skinny Repeal.” So when Murkowski announced her opposition to the Obamacare individual mandate, I couldn’t help but read that with a certain sense of disgust. In her article published in a local newspaper, Murkowski begins by saying:

have always supported the freedom to choose. I believe that the federal government should not force anyone to buy something they do not wish to buy in order to avoid being taxed. That is the fundamental reason why I opposed the Affordable Care Act from its inception and also why I cosponsored a bill to repeal the individual mandate tax penalty starting as early as 2013. And that is why I support the repeal of that tax today.

If this is true where was she when Conservatives were trying to repeal? It is absolutely disgusting when Senators say they oppose something they voted to keep in place. She does address that in the next paragraph.

Over the course of this year, the Senate has considered bills that would have repealed Medicaid expansion, completely transformed the base Medicaid program, converted the individual exchanges into a block grant program, cut Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid reimbursement for a year, and other measures. All of those bills went far beyond the fundamental problems presented by the ACA and would have unnecessarily taken away access to care from those who need it most.

So basically, she opposes conservative healthcare reform. I’m not Trumpcare was a conservative solution, but we can certainly count her out voting yes on the free market solution. But in this paragraph she shows her pro-abortion colors in a support for Planned Parenthood receiving taxpayer dollars to kill babies and fund democrats. Nevermind that Planned Parenthood is an easily replaceable part in actual women’s health. Murkowski then delves into both a defense and critique of Obamacare. She states that the ACA has helped so many Alaskans and Alaskans pay the highest premiums. She tops it off by saying:

Repealing the individual mandate simply restores to people the freedom to choose. Nothing else about the structure of the ACA would be changed. If you currently get tax credits to help pay for your insurance, you could still receive those credits if you choose to buy an exchange plan. If you are enrolled on Medicaid or received coverage under Medicaid expansion, you could still be enrolled if you choose to be. The only difference would be is if you choose to not buy health insurance, the government would not levy a tax on you.

Let’s for a second, recall that it was the Supreme Court that rewrote the ACA to make the individual mandate a tax. It was clearly a fine, even Obama said it wasn’t a tax. The fine was hardly the worst thing about Obamacare. In fact, the fine is the only possible way Obamacare could work, which is why it was written into law in the first place. Obamacare is a halfway step to a government healthcare system. Without the mandate, rising premiums will further incentivizing people to not buy health insurance causing more rising premiums. It’s a spiral.

Murkowski does delve deeper into healthcare reform touting a bipartisan bill supported by fellow RINO Lamar Alexander, Liberty Score 17%.

Protecting the gains we’ve made with provisions of the ACA while providing greater control to states and options for individuals is why I have been working for bipartisan solutions to the health care challenges we face. Instead of taxing people for not being able to afford coverage, we should be working to reduce costs and provide options. That is precisely what the bipartisan legislation introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, which I have cosponsored, achieves.

While I support repealing the individual mandate, I strongly support enacting the bipartisan compromise Alexander/Murray legislation into law as fast as possible to stabilize our markets, provide more control to states and more choices to individuals.

Murkowski goes on full betrayal of her promise to her constituents. Instead of opposing Obamacare, she is actively sponsoring it’s “rescue” sponsoring the Murray/Alexander plan. Sometimes there’s beauty in compromise. This is not one of those times. Murkowski went back on what she promised to do. Even now, she states no opposition to Obamacare, merely it’s core mandate. To hear her oppose the penalty is seething with irony. So while Republicans may have her vote on their latest tax reform bill, any Obamacare repeal efforts will need her replacement in 2022.

Further Reading

Alexander-Murray Health Care Deal Shouldn’t Go Through

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/452885/no-alexander-murrayIn other words, the Alexander-Murray deal is a solution to an overblown problem. The deal is being sold as a short-term fix, appropriating funds through 2019. But in all likelihood it would wind up being permanent, like most government spending, with Congress simply renewing it when its time runs out.

In exchange for appropriating the Obamacare funds, Republicans would get . . . nothing much. No Hyde Amendment–type protections are included on the CSR subsidies, for instance, meaning the funds could go to insurance plans that cover abortions.

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Healthcare

I feel more for a four year old girl with leukemia than a U.S. Senator with brain cancer

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I feel more for a four year old girl with leukemia than a US Senator with brain cancer

I really do.  Because while John McCain may be suffering, he will get the treatments that he needs, and on our dime.  However in the case of Collette Briggs, a four-year-old with leukemia, she may not get that treatment thanks in part to ObamaCare (the Un-Affordable Care Act)  being allowed to do damage to our health care.  What does McCain want to do?  He’ll do nothing about it in spite of all the talk of repealing ObamaCare.  He is more interested in sticking it to Donald Trump (regardless of what you and I think of him) than actually helping the American people get relief from this rotten public-private experiment in health care.  There were two different repeals, and both were rejected by this Maverick Republican.

If this girl dies before McCain does, one has to wonder if she would speak against McCain at his final judgment.  Some Christians believe that would happen, and more.  Personally, I think God himself would handle it all.

These public-private partnerships may have worked better in media (think PBS, NPR), public transportation (like your local bus system) and yes, sadly, many corny capitalist projects at all levels.  When it comes to health care, it just does not work.  Either we embrace free-market capitalism in health care or we go the way many socialists want us to go.  A “Single Payer” government monopoly… even if that would send Briggs to an early grave as well.  But this ObamaCare is a proven failure.  Shame on you Arizona for allowing McCain to stay in office for as long as he has.  Now he is likely to die in office as Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd have.   Our founders would be in total disgust.

Further Reading

How Fewer Obamacare Options Hurt a 4-Year-Old

http://dailysignal.com/2017/11/21/how-fewer-obamacare-options-hurt-a-4-year-old/Forget good intentions. Remember bad results.

The Washington Post recently published a heart-wrenching story of two Virginia families caught up with the consequences of a damaged, declining, and increasingly noncompetitive health insurance market.

Little Collette Briggs, 4, suffers from an aggressive case of leukemia, and the Briggs family for two years has depended upon the medical professionals at a hospital that specializes in pediatric cancer care.

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Federalists

The Obamacare Debacle: Why we need a second political party

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Sometimes you simply hope that your predictions will be wrong and that events will miraculously turn out differently; unfortunately, this is not one of those times. Most people with a modicum of common sense anticipated that the Republicans would now take the blame for the troubles of Obamacare, and that has come to pass.  The aphorism ‘You broke it, you bought it’ comes to mind, and while somewhat unfair to the situation, perception is reality in the world of politics.

Tear it down and start over.

While not endeavoring to reign blows upon a deceased equine, this is why the Republican party needed to keep its promise on Obamacare. It’s also the reason why it’s time to sweep away the old and begin anew with a brand new second major political party. That phrase was deliberately used because it has become quite evident that the Republican and Democratic parties have started to merge in far too many ways.

The Obamacare debacle is a prime illustration of this unfortunate merging. O’Sullivan’s First Law explains this to a fair degree since the denizens of a certain party will – over time – want to keep the bureaucratic levers of power with the false idea that they can have it run more efficiently. Besides the simple expedient of term limits, a new party could start anew with a mandate to avoid this political trap.

An illustration from the world of engineering seems more than appropriate in this instance. There are times when a machine or structure has become so riddled with worn out or failed components that it is far better to simply scrap or tear it down and build something from scratch. The aphorism is to start with a clean sheet of paper such that the old assumptions and constructs are swept away in favor of something entirely new and innovative. “We’ve always done it this way” is replaced with questioning skepticism with regard to what works, and what doesn’t.

Existing components that have proven to be of service can be utilized in the new construct but only if they meet certain criteria, not simply because they are carried along with everything else of the old. By the same token, members of the old party can become a vital part of the new but only if they are up to the task.

The final word on the Republican party.

It is more than likely that the people responsible for that bureaucratic mess will use it to good political advantage against those who opposed it in the first place. We should be getting rid of governmental interference in the free market, but instead will see a complete control with national socialist healthcare [i.e., the ‘single payer’ deception].

There is no other choice than to limit the damage now with a new party that will stay true to conservative principles. The results of the alternative are too horrible to contemplate.

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