Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Downsizer Twofer

I responded to two Downsizer Dispatches today. The first, from January 19th, discussed some of the many assaults on liberty coming from the unelected bureaucratic agencies created by the Federal Government. I wrote to my Congresspeople the following:

Please introduce DownsizeDC.org's "Write the Laws Act." You can find a summary and the full text of the bill here: http://www.downsizedc.org/wtla_legislation.shtml
Here are three recent items which I consider unacceptable. They were all created with the force of law by people that we did not elect to represent us.

#1: FDA experts have voted to ban the drugs Serevent and Foradil for asthma patients. The vote isn't binding, but the FDA generally follows such recommendations. And yet . . .

* One-third of these experts disagreed with banning these drugs for adult patients
* The leading rationale was that many patients used them incorrectly by not pairing them with a steroid. But what about patients who took the drugs responsibly and correctly?
* The total cost of these drugs plus steroids is still cheaper than that of two other asthma drugs, Advair and Symbicort, which were approved.

In other words, the panel voted to limit the clinical options of doctors and increase the costs for patients.

Even so, it could have been worse. Some FDA safety experts wanted to ban all four drugs because they may cause one death in "somewhere between 700 and 4,000 patients."

They apparently didn't listen to Dr. Richard Gower, President of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, who said, "We live in an imperfect world. All drugs have potential benefits and side effects."

#2: The FDA has also banned the use of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) inhalers (MDIs) beginning this year. CFC products are believed to cause ozone depletion, and most of them were banned internationally by the Montreal Protocol of 1987. However,

* Medically essential products, such as CFC MDIs, have been exempt
* Medical products account for, at most, 0.5% of CFC consumption, meaning the ban is not environmentally necessary.
* Replacement inhalers (HFAs) are still patent-protected, and no generics can be made until 2010. HFA MDIs are 2-3 times the price of CFC MDIs, and require more diligence to clean and maintain. The poor, who are already more likely to suffer asthma, are paying a tax on their health for the sake of a symbolic environmental gesture.
* There is no medical justification for banning CFC MDI's.

#3: The TSA's new proposed "Large Aircraft Security Program" (LASP) could ruin the general aviation industry.

* The same one-size-fits-all regulations will apply to both passenger airliners and non-commercial, business-owned jets that are used to move cargo and personnel. For instance, the "no-fly" list and Air Marshall provisions will apply to business planes even though the pilots usually know everyone on board personally.
* The definition of "large aircraft" is arbitrary, applying both to planes as small as 12,500 pounds and to 747's ten times that weight.
* Items that are prohibited in passenger jets will also be banned to employees in these smaller business planes, even if they are needed for their work. (Just think of what that will do to business efficiency in this time of recession.)
* Airplane owners will be forced to pay, at their own expense, for audits of their safety compliance. The audits won't even be done by government inspectors, but by private consultants.
* These rules can potentially expand to all aircraft and all airports.

The above three items are just a few examples of what federal regulatory agencies do to us, every day. They pass regulations and enforce policies that reduce our choices and increase our costs. While their actions often go unreported or are buried in newspapers, they profoundly affect large segments of our population and of our economy. Just ask asthma sufferers. Or the aviation industry.

All of this is done with little or no Congressional oversight. Instead, Congress passes general laws and expects regulatory agencies to "sweat the details." People have to obey agency dictates, even though they're created willy-nilly without any elected representation.

Mr. Jeremy Young

Today's dispatch focused on the fact that the inauguration will begin the first 100 days push to "DO SOMETHING!", and that looks like spending, spending, and more spending. Stealing from our Grandparents, Parents, Siblings, Children, and Grandchildren all in the name of trying to fix what was broken by reckless spending. In that vein, I wrote the following:

Please cut federal spending.

This new stimulus is a disaster building on the horizon. The Federal Government is not all-powerful, nor all-knowing. You as Congresspeople cannot know the path that we should take to escape this economic calamity. The only way to ensure an economic recovery is to reduce the size and scope of the Federal Government so that capital can be freed up to be used by the innovative and creative forces in our country. Our Nation became great in exactly this way, liberty to pursue whatever we have a passion for.

Mr. Jeremy Young

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Blogger jen said...

HFA inhalers DO NOT WORK! Read the thousands of complaints: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/saveCFCinhalers/signatures.html This particular petition has 4000 signatures and is growing everyday. There are also many complaints at consumer affairs: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/health/hfa_inhalers.html More complaints: https://www.savecfcinhalers.org/Guestbook.php http://www.askapatient.com/viewrating.asp?drug=20503&name=PROVENTIL-HFA http://www.opednews.com/populum/diarypage.php?did=11627 If you are unhappy with the new HFA inhalers, kindly sign the petition to save CFC inhalers. http://www.savecfcinhalers.org The National Campaign to Save CFC Asthma Inhalers

7:06 PM  

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