Having saved his citizens from the deadly effects of overly large carbonated drinks, Mayor Bloomberg now moves to keep them safe from their emergency rooms:
Some of the most common and most powerful prescription painkillers on the market will be restricted sharply in the emergency rooms at New York City’s 11 public hospitals, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Thursday in an effort to crack down on what he called a citywide and national epidemic of prescription drug abuse.
But wait, you say, Bloomberg isn't a doctor.
Well, I'm sure that after Obamacare has strangled us down to single payer, and there are competent bureaucrats in charge of health policy, we'll have uniform rules that are also made by non-doctors. Those rules might be worse, but they might be better.
I, by the way, was a victim of narcotic drug restriction drama: Many years back I had an angiogram to see what was going on with my heart. Bad luck though, the doctor nicked my artery before getting the device in properly.
So over the next day or so the nick ballooned out and caused quite a bit of ouchie. I called the doctor and complained about the pain. The doctor was dubious. I called back and said seriously, I can't even walk this hurts so bad. And I heard it in his voice: he thought I was angling for free pharmacy dope.
So he told me to take advil and sacrifice a chicken. He had made up his mind, doctors were being scrutinized and he'd be damned if he was going to get into trouble over prescribing drugs for something that shouldn't have hurt at all. What he didn't do was consider that there might be something wrong if there's pain where there shouldn't be. The arterial balloon burst a few hours later and almost killed me.
See, every few years there's a unnecessary-prescription witch hunt. Doctors are intimidated and painkillers become harder for abusers to get. Painkillers also become harder for people in pain to get. But even worse, these witch hunts cause doctors to expect lies from their patients. Most often it results in unnecessary pain. Sometimes it's much worse.
It would be best to let doctors decide when painkillers are needed. They will certainly make mistakes but they're the ones sitting in front of the patient; that's where the decision should be made.
Course, that boat has sailed. Bureaucrats are in charge now. You'll have to live with that crippling back pain, but if you want a morning after pill or a breast pump, you're sitting pretty.