Friday, September 13, 2013

Matt Baker Thinks You Need More of "The Man" In Your Life

You know, I never cease to be amazed at how often Republicans talk about how they want to get government out of our lives and then they propose things like the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.  What is the "Prescription Drug Monitoring Program"?  Well the bare bones of it is that Rep. Matt Baker wants to create a database that holds the records of all the users of prescription drugs in PA and what drugs they're on so that we can stop prescription drug abuse.

Did you all just roll your eyes with me?
Rep. Matt Baker (R-District 68)

How is it that Republicans get to spend all day bloviating about decreasing the scope of government while simultaneously expanding government further and further into our personal lives?  Hey, whatcha doin' with your vagina?  Would I morally disapprove of it?  Maybe you should stop to make me feel more comfortable. Who are you interested in having sex with?  I hope it's someone of the opposite gender!  What prescription drugs are you lawfully taking?  Why do I ask?  Because what if you're abusing your lawfully prescribed medicines?  I need to judge you about it.

And here's just one of the many issues with this "Monitoring Program".  These aren't "drugs", they're medicine.  I know that it's just one little word but the connotation speaks volumes.  Drugs are illegal.  Drugs, as Mr. Mackey of South Park would say, are bad, m'kay?  Medicine, on the other hand, is something that a doctor gives you that is expected to treat an illness or disorder of some kind be it in a curative or maintenance capacity.  It is an important and stark distinction that views people either as potential criminals or as people with medical problems.

Is there prescription drug abuse?  Yes, there absolutely is.  Are we going to stop it by monitoring the medicinal intake of every person in Pennsylvania?  No.

As rules were made to be broken, databases were made to be abused.  I'm not saying that there aren't great and valid reasons to have databases.  Using them to monitor what medicines people are on is not one of them.  Databases like this start from an assumption that because some people are doing something wrong we should monitor everyone.  What that sounds like is that the government assumes that you're guilty and you have to show them that you're innocent...constantly.  Does that sound like the opposite of our justice system to anyone else?  I bet Matt Baker wouldn't support a database for owners of firearms in Pennsylvania, and yet he'd like to pre-criminalize every person in Pennsylvania who is prescribed medication.

I realize that just now I made an argument against a firearms database and know what?  I'm fine with that.  I don't believe any problem has been solved by making an exhaustive, creepy, Big Brother database about it.  People who are legitimately taking Oxycontin right now can back me up when I say that there are already hoops in place for medications that have been deemed as high-risk for possible abuse.  Pennsylvanians do not need a redundant, state-based monitoring system in place.  We do not need more of "The Man" in our lives.