NY City’s Mayor Blumberg became the poster boy for the Nanny State when he banned the sale of large sodas in NY city. He then outdid himself with a ban on donations to homeless shelters (because the city can’t properly assess salt, fat and fiber in the donated food). His obsession with governing food intake was also evident when he demanded hospitals stop handing out baby formula, attempting to persuade more mothers to breastfeed.
Intrusive governing moves such as these make it hard not to doubt everything he does but, like a stopped clock, even Blumberg can end up right once in a while. He now seems to at least be onto something that truly needs attention with his recent (optional) guidelines attempting to limit hospital ER doctors from doling out more than a three-day prescription of painkillers.
Drug deaths due to painkillers now outnumber those due to heroin and cocaine combined. Opioid painkillers are being prescribed by doctors all over the country in quantities that far exceed the need. This is resulting in an increase in the number of addicts as well as an increase in supply on the street, hence, an increase in deaths.
Any attempt to curb the flow of these painkillers is a move in the right direction and to Blumberg’s credit, he is doing just that. Emergency rooms naturally distribute a lot of painkillers and, consequently, are often preyed upon by addicts. This makes emergency rooms a good place to start any effort to limit distribution, and that effort is long overdue.
Blumberg is a liberal politician so he is automatically being criticized by conservatives for this move. He has a history of advancing the Nanny State, making him an easy and deserving target, but this should not be treated as a political issue. This actually makes sense for the common good, and that is a rare occurrence in today’s political world.
David J. Hentosh