Drug Policy

Whose Body Is It?

The government should "protect" us less and respect our liberty more.

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People suffer and die because the government "protects" us. It should protect us less and respect our liberty more.

The most basic questions are: Who owns you, and who should control what you put into your body? In what sense are you free if you can't decide what medicines you will take?

This will be the subject of my Fox Business program tonight.

We'll hear from people like Bruce Tower. Tower has prostate cancer. He wanted to take a drug that showed promise against his cancer, but the Food and Drug Administration would not allow it. One bureaucrat told him the government was protecting him from dangerous side effects. Tower's outraged response was: "Side effects—who cares? Every treatment I've had I've suffered from side effects. If I'm terminal, it should be my option to endure any side effects."

Of course it should be his option. Why, in our "free" country, do Americans meekly stand aside and let the state limit our choices, even when we are dying?

Dr. Alan Chow invented a retinal implant that helps some blind people see (optobionics.com). Demonstrating that took seven years and cost $50 million dollars of FDA-approved tests. But now the FDA wants still more tests. That third stage will take another three years and cost $100 million. But Chow doesn't have $100 million. He can't raise the money from investors because the implant only helps some blind people. Potential investors fear there are too few customers to justify their $100 million risk.

So Stephen Lonegan, who has a degenerative eye disease that might be helped by the implant, can't have it. Instead, he will go blind. The bureaucrats say their restrictions are for his own safety. "There's nothing safe about going blind," he says. "I don't want to be made safe by the FDA. I want it to be up to me to go to Dr. Chow to make the decision myself."

But it's not up to Lonegan and his doctor. It's up to the autocrats of the Nanny State. Tonight, I will show my confrontation with Terry Toigo of the FDA about that. She calmly and quietly explained that such restrictions are necessary to protect the integrity of the government's safety review process until I shouted: "Why are you even involved? Let people try things!"

She replied, "We don't think that's the best system for patients, to enable people to just take whatever they want with little information available about a drug."

So people suffer and die when they might have lived longer, more comfortable lives.

The FDA's intrusion on our freedom is supplemented by another agent of the Nanny State. The Drug Enforcement Agency's war on drug dealers has led them to watch pain-management doctors like hawks. Drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin provide wonderful pain relief. But because they are also taken by "recreational" drug users, doctors go to jail for prescribing quantities that the DEA considers "inappropriate." As a result, pain specialists are scared into underprescribing painkillers. Sick people suffer horrible pain needlessly.

Think I exaggerate? Check out the website of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). It warns doctors not to go into pain management. "Drug agents now set medical standards. … There could be years of harassment and legal fees," says the AAPS. Today, even nursing-home patients, hardly candidates for drug gangs, don't get pain relief they need.

The DEA told us that good doctors have nothing to worry about. But Siobhan Reynolds, who started the Pain Relief Network (painreliefnetwork.org) after her late husband was unable to get sufficient pain medicine, says the DEA's cherry-picked medical experts persuade juries that they should jail any doctor who administers higher doses of pain relief than the DEA's zealots think appropriate. News of those jail terms spreads. Doctors learn to be stingy with pain meds.

All drugs involve risk. In a free country, it should be up to individuals, once we're adults, to make our own choices about those risks. Patrick Henry didn't say, "Give me absolute safety, or give me death." He said "liberty." That is what America is supposed to be about.

John Stossel is host of Stossel on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of Give Me a Break and of Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com.

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264 responses to “Whose Body Is It?

  1. It pisses me off that I don’t have Fox Business channel.

    Also, FIRST!

    1. Call your cable provider and demand FBN!

    2. I have FBN, but I’m always busy when the show airs, so I watch it online instead.

      They post Stossel episodes on Hulu.com. Although they are kind of slow and irregular about it. 7 episodes are currently online. Totally worth watching.

    3. You should be watching my show at 10:00 pm anyway.

  2. “Comrades,” he said, “I trust that every animal here appreciates the
    sacrifice that Comrade Napoleon has made in taking this extra labour upon
    himself. Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure! On the
    contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more
    firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only
    too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you
    might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

    1. Right on. I always say we are living on the edge of an 1984 orwellian society.

    2. I had not realized that Orwell referenced one of the Iron Laws in Animal Farm:

      You aren’t free unless you are free to be wrong.

      1. But a free society needs a knowledgeable people.

        1. Oh…Like hell it does!

  3. If only the left would take their concern over keeping the government out of people’s health decisions they so fervently put forth in the abortion wars and apply it anywhere else. If whether a woman has an abortion is a matter completely between herself and her doctor, then why the hell isn’t the decision to try an experimental treatment?

    1. Someone with a terminal illness might get hurt, you insensitive bastard.

      1. That pretty much sums up my feelings about overfeeding ducks/geese for foie gras. They’re gettin butchered anyway.

        1. yeah, so why bother making their lives better beforehand? Also, it’s totally the same to force feed an animal involuntarily using a hard metal feeding tube while allowing it no freedom of movement and then killing it as it is to give someone who’s dying the choice to take medicine that might make them better or might cause them lots of pain. The only thing more sensible than your opinion on foie gras is your analogy.

          1. Jorgen

            Geese are not human beings. This article is about humans, the Govment, the FDA etc. It is not about PETA.

            STFU

      2. As we say in medicine, you can’t kill a dead person……..

    2. If whether a woman has an abortion is a matter completely between herself and her doctor,

      It is her body.

      then why the hell isn’t the decision to try an experimental treatment?

      Because it may have serious side effects. It needs to be proven saf and effective first.

      1. “Because it may have serious side effects. It needs to be proven saf and effective first.”

        Are you trolling? You can’t be serious. Those side effects affect HER BODY. It is her choice and hers alone whether to risk those side effects, not yours or mine.

        1. Take a look at some of the dangerous medicines sold a patent medicines before the FDA. There was ethylene glycol in cough medicine. What about thalidomide. There is a legitimate public health interest in making sure the drug companies don’t sell dangerous drugs, even with the FDA vioxx was sold.

          1. For every thalidimyde example there are hundreds of people who have died waiting for the FDA to approve treatment. Further, you act like there isn’t a tort system. Drug makers have every incentive not to market dangerous drugs. All that the FDA does is further slow down the process and kill people.

            Lastly, you totally miss the concept that it should be the individual’s choice whether to risk an unproven treatment. If I am told of the risks, it ought to be my choice, not yours whether I try the treatment. You just want to kill people so you can feel better about yourself and avoid “deaths” that would probably be avoided anyway.

            1. For every thalidimyde example there are hundreds of people who have died waiting for the FDA to approve treatment.

              Perhaps they should try and fail accepted treatments first. Also, if they are not an appropriate candidate for the trial the trial may not provide the correct safety and efficacy data, and ultimately kill others. Sometimes an individual has to die for what is best to save others in society.

              1. “Perhaps they should try and fail accepted treatments first.”

                If they were going to die anyway, I would say they haven’t lost much. But not every treatment fails. Some treatments are successful. And people die because they don’t get them while they wait for the FDA to approve them. Yes, if the treatment is a failure, the people will die anyway. But in the cases where the new drug or treatment is successful, the quicker it gets to the market the more people it can save.

              2. “Sometimes an individual has to die for what is best to save others in society.”

                I think that just about sums up the thinking of the left (and some of the social conservative right-wingers)

                1. Individual needs must be weighted against societies needs.

                  1. Susan, read the constitution lately? The rights of the individual supersede “society”.

                  2. They’re ALL individual needs. The individuals who die because they tried a treatment that hasn’t gone through extensive testing are individuals, and the individuals who die because they can’t try a drug that hasn’t gone through extensive testing are individuals. In fact, for the most part, it’s the SAME individuals. What you’re saying is that the FDA should weigh the risks rather than the individuals themselves. And that the FDA is so good at this that they make better decisions for everyone than individuals could make for themselves. This despite the fact that the FDA, just like every government agency, reflects the interests of those most interested in the regulations, namely doctors and drug companies. And that large companies marketing existing drugs that can afford the approval process would like nothing less than they would like new drugs from small competitors.

                  3. “Society” is an abstraction. It cannot have needs, much less needs that supersede those of actual flesh-and-blood individuals.

                    Tune in next week to hear Susan of Borg say, “Freedom is irrelevant. You will be assimilated.”

                    1. +3 David Emami.

              3. “Sometimes an individual has to die for what is best to save others in society.”

                Spoken like someone without a serious illness.

              4. Sometimes an individual has to die for what is best to save others in society.

                LMAO. Until I read that, I thought you were serious. Now I see you’re just trolling, as no one is that stupid.

              5. Susan is a troll. I think it is Tony. Ignore this person.

              6. “Sometimes an individual has to die for what is best to save others in society.”

                NO! what the fuck kind of retarded shit has been crammed into that empty space you call your head? This is socialism, pure and simple.
                take this shit outside, its making me ill.

          2. It is completely different when you don’t know what a medicine contains and what the side the effects might be to knowingly taking a medicine or treatment which is still in the experimental stage. Anyone who had carefully read the warnings on a vioxx or ephedrine package would have realized that they should not take those medicines (the death warning is quite clear on ephedrine packaging and warnings of adverse effects was clear on vioxx packaging=reading is fundemental).

            1. And thanks to the FDA ban on vioxx, people who suffer from arthritis are now back taking huge amounts of aspirin that is eating away at the lining of their stomachs. The side effects of vioxx were a lot less than the side effects of the existing drugs. Vioxx was a godsend to a lot of people who used the drug properly. But thanks to people like Susan, those users are now back to taking huge amounts of aspirin and ruining their stomachs and kidneys.

              1. “And thanks to the FDA ban on vioxx, people who suffer from arthritis are now back taking huge amounts of aspirin that is eating away at the lining of their stomachs.”

                And since you brought up aspirin, it’s worth noting that under today’s FDA regulations if aspirin was a new drug coming down the pipeline you would absolutely need a prescription to obtain it due to it’s MOA. Also, many commonly prescribed drugs people have used every day for years would not even get FDA approval today b/c of the side effects. Phenytoin is a good example. Since this is my line of work, this issue is particularly annoying to me. Every single drug you take has side effects. The question is do those side effects outweigh the benefits of taking the drug? If it is a potentially life saving treatment I say no.

                1. Exactly. And if the choice is live in pain or take some side effects, you are probably going to take some side effects. The problem with the FDA is that the system is designed to eliminate risks rather than manage risks. You can’t eliminate risk.

                2. Phenytoin is a good example.

                  Aren’t there alternatives like carbamazepine and valproic acid?

                  1. Sure there are, but that’s completely beside the point. Oh, and while you’re googling alternatives to phenytoin go ahead and look up Steven’s Johnson syndrome and fetal anticonvulsant syndrome. Maybe you can start a campaign to ban all anticonvulsants because of side effects too. Or, in your flippant dismissal of people medical conditions, maybe you would suggest that epileptics should just stop having seizures?

                    1. Phenytoin, as well as NSAIDs can cause Steven’s Johnson too.

                    2. Thanks for telling me what I already know. So let’s ban those too.

                    3. You mean it can make one grow a penis (the size of Steven’s)? Jeez!

                3. This is industry capture at its finest. The large drug companies are better off if making new drugs is expensive, because not only are they preventing smaller competitors from entering the market, but they’re also protecting the market for their existing drugs. And since the only people who have the expertise to say whether a drug is safe are people deeply involved in making and testing drugs, e.g. people working for the large drug companies or who might work for the large drug companies, the drug companies interests get represented when deciding whether to approve a new drug.

                  1. Increasing a manufacturer’s cost of manufacturing is not necessarily good for their bottom line. Revenues need to exceed costs. Bain and Co. report that the average cost of developing a new drug is $1.7 billion, as of 2003. This means that if a monthly prescription costs $1,000, then they have to sell 1.7 million of them just to recapture R&D costs, without any profit or production cost. FDA blockage does not make pharmaceutical companies more profitable. It makes it harder for them to clear their costs. That same Bain study, found at http://www.bain.com/bainweb/Ab…..media.asp, shows that the average annual return on investment in pharmaceuticals is only a paltry 5%, quite low in comparison to most industries. FDA hindrances on drug development cause drug companies to be less profitable, while blocking many lifesaving medications from being accessed by patients. I repeatedly read in medical literature about drugs that are safer and more effective than what is available in the U.S., but are not approved by the FDA. Regardless of the practical points that I point out here, the main point is that our government does not have the legitamate authority to be making these decisions for us. Kudos, Mr. Stossell, for making this point so well.

              2. Saccharin was approved after being banned. Cyclamate was also banned. Although Cyclamate was less of a carcinogen, the FDA bowed to political pressure and business interests and approved Saccharin. The decision had dick all to do with health or science.

              3. And thanks to the FDA ban on vioxx, people who suffer from arthritis are now back taking huge amounts of aspirin that is eating away at the lining of their stomachs.

                Perhaps they should take less?

                The side effects of vioxx were a lot less than the side effects of the existing drugs.

                Death from heart attacks is a minor side effect?

                1. “Perhaps they should take less?”

                  Sure take less and then suffer from debilitating pain. They aren’t taking the aspirin for fun and profit. They are taking it because arthritis is a horrible disease.

                  “Death from heart attacks is a minor side effect?”

                  If your choices are:

                  1. Suffer from horrible pain every day, or

                  2. Take aspirin and know that you will in a few years destroy your stomach and kidneys

                  3. Take vioxx and have a slightly elevated risk of a heart attack,

                  the risk of a heart attack is when considered in context the lesser side effect.

                  It is called managing risk. We don’t get to have the medicine fairy come down and cure all of our ills. Sometimes you have to take least bad option. And people like you are helping to ensure that people have to take the worst option.

                  1. It’s not about whether people should take Vioxx or aspirin. It’s about whether people should get to choose. If you’d take the pain or the stomach lining destruction over the risk of death, that’s your business.

                    1. No! You are not smart enough to weigh those risks for you. That’s the role of the government – DUH!

                2. Death was an extremely infrequent side effect.

                3. “Perhaps they should take less?”

                  Your arrogance knows no bounds. Who are you to tell people what they can or cannot take? You realize that its because of busy-body do-gooders like yourself that street gangs and drug dealers do well as the black market grows.

                  1. Pretty sure this is a troll.

          3. Point of order.
            Thalidimyde wasn’t sold here in the US.
            Is that your point?

            1. IIRC, Thalidomide had two different ways of crystallizing. One way, it was completely safe for pregnant women and their babies. the other caused birth defects. Either way, it was effective as a sedative and anti-emetic.

              Furthermore, it is now being tested for numerous conditions. As mentioined above, it is a fairly effective anti-emetic (which is why it was given to pregnant women), and has promise against certain types of cancer. I’m sure banning it really helped advance the research on that.

              1. I remember hearing that thalidomide was being tested for a treatment for leprosy as well. It showed promise, but the researchers had such a hard time using it because of its history.

                The fact that some people were worried about lepers getting pregnant and having deformed kids really proves the point that men are dogs and will stick it in anything warm.

                1. Leprosy still exists?

                  1. Rare but yes. Mostly in the southwest, probably because armadillos are the only animals that can get it besides humans.

                    1. I thought they were non-symptomatic carriers.

                    2. Maybe? Not sure? Must Google.

                2. Anybody else remember the Sam Kinison bit about women who have sex with lepers?

                  1. If you have sex with a prostitute, do they leave a tip?

              2. IIRC, those drugs with the commercials that say “if you are a woman who is pregnant or may become pregnant, do not even look at these tablets directly” contain a drug that is related to thalidomide.

              3. Yep, it exists as two different stereoisomers.
                One form would be good for treating morning sickness, and the other inhibited fetal limb development.
                However, Thalidomide can convert from one form to the other while in the body.

          4. Vioxx was safer than aspirin you nanny state bitch. Thanks to morons like you, my husband can’t get it anymore. I hope someday you have to watch someone you love deal with chronic pain without adequate pain relievers.

            1. Nonnie, you manipulative sadistic whore. My wife had a stroke due to Vioxx recommended by her doctor, who was supposed to know better. You are probably lying about your husband you are just such a c-nt that you sit there and laugh while my wife can’t talk. You make me want to puke.

              1. If I actually believed your wife existed, I’d feel sorry for both of you. My husband can’t walk somedays because of the pain. He knew from his doctor that there were increased risks with Vioxx and he considered it worth the risk to be able to function. It should be his choice. Not yours, not Susan’s and not the FDA’s. He is taking Celebrex, but it does not work as well as the Vioxx did. By the way, go to hell and F*** your mother you nannie state bitch.

          5. Susan,

            OK you seem to be arguing against yourself with your statement “even with the FDA vioxx was sold.” To follow that to it’s logical conclusion – so, if the FDA can’t protect us what good is it?

            Regarding Thalidomide – the FDA prevented Thalidomide from being approved for use in the USA. The Thalidomide babies born in the USA received unapproved doses from the company which was trying to win FDA approval to distribute the drug in the USA.

            Dangerous patent medicines: uh, yeah, that was like 100 years ago when we didn’t know jack about medicine (compared to today) – germ theory was new and controversial and medicinal chemistry was little advanced beyond alchemy.

            1. well, cmon med chem was like “if we acetylate it it will be better (cf aspirin vs saliclyic acid”. That’s why they acetylated morphine.

              See, they used the scientific method.

              1. And they did make morphine better by doing that. Diacetyl morphine (aka Heroin) penetrates the BBB far more effectively than morphine, and doesn’t cause the (often fatal) histamine reaction in the brain that morphine can. It’s also about 5x more effective as a pain killer than morphine. There was an Australian doctor who posted on a thread a few months ago lamenting the fact that she had to treat her patients with a much crappier and dangerous pain-relief drug, all because of the WoD.

                That pain relief effectiveness also means it’s much more effective for people who want to get high, and Jeebus knows we can’t have that.

              2. Sounds a lot like the climate change guys to me. What’s changed?

          6. We are not talking about morning sickness here. We are talking about people who are dying from cancer or going blind. There is a difference.

      2. Isn’t it their body anymore when it comes to trying an experimental treatment?

        1. Yes, but we still need to be protected from dangerous products before testing. I am not sure where to draw the line.

          1. So you think that drug makers have no incentive to ensure their drugs are safe? If a drug maker produces a dangerous drug that kills or harms a bunch of people, they will be on the hook for millions if not billions in liability. Even one such mistake can bankrupt a company. They don’t need to FDA to understand the stakes involved.

            1. Question: If someone decides to take Medicine X and dies, and their family decides to sue the drug company because they think the medicine was the cause of death, isn’t the burden of proof on the plaintiff to demonstrate this? How would they go about doing so? I may well be wrong, but it seems they would have to commission and pay for the testing procedures that the FDA currently mandates in order to provide conclusive enough evidence to actually win a case in court. Granted, the drug companies might elect to settle out of court in order to avoid an excess of negative PR, but then you wind up with a potentially dangerous medicine still on the market that hasn’t been proven to be either safe or dangerous.

              Not that I’m saying the FDA is awesome here, just that the idea that the free market might not be entirely effective on its own.

              1. Any medical negligence suit needs a medical expert opinion. Further, if the drug was harmful, that person wouldn’t be the only one coming up harmed. Even with the FDA, sometimes harmful drugs get out. And when they do, there are law suits. And the FDA doesn’t have to run a study to determine that they were harmful. The proof is in the public showing up harmed.

              2. Re: Brian Trust,

                Question: If someone decides to take Medicine X and dies, and their family decides to sue the drug company because they think the medicine was the cause of death, isn’t the burden of proof on the plaintiff to demonstrate this?

                Yes, it is, because as you said: The person DECIDED to take Medicine X.

                How would they go about doing so?

                The same as with everything else: The person that wants to prove PAYS for it.

                I may well be wrong, but it seems they would have to commission and pay for the testing procedures that the FDA currently mandates in order to provide conclusive enough evidence to actually win a case in court.

                That’s no excuse to have the FDA. You mean have everybody else pay so that a few plaintiffs can profit from the existence of the FDA? That’s immoral.

                1. This is precisely what class action lawsuits are for.

              3. Also you need to consider the possibility of an independent (say non-profit, or hell maybe even for-profit) review board a la consumer reports. Why the fuck can’t we have a consumer reports for drugs instead of the FDA. Better yet, two? Let them compete!

                1. I always use UL as my example. Complete NGO, but just try getting an electrical appliance in this country that hasn’t been certified.

                  1. damn you, I just needed to read 1 post down.

                2. I think Underwriters Laboratory is the right model, not CR.

            2. If the FDA comes to the conclusion that a drug is safe, then why aren’t they sued and the maker left alone?

          2. Not sure where to draw the line?

            Then don’t.

          3. So, my doctor and I can’t weigh the risks and decide if the protection is worth it for me? You don’t have a incurable chronic illness do you?

          4. Yes, but we still need to be protected from dangerous products before testing. I am not sure where to draw the line.

            A good reason to question whether you should be drawing a line at all.

            1. A good reason to question whether you should be drawing a line at all.

              No I shouldn’t but bioethecists should.

              1. Susan,

                How does being a bioethicist give one more authority over another person’s body? Are there any other professionals who have similar rights overiding the individual’s right of self-ownership?

                1. Good. So a bioethecists should be able to determine if late term abortion should be allowed. Glad to have that out of the hands of women.

                  1. No, her body, her choice.

                    1. Susan
                      “No, her body, her choice.”

                      But not my body, my choice? Could you be any more hypocritical?

                  2. Late term abortions are horrible. What is unknown however that they are mostly performed on babies with birth defects that won’t allow them to survive once “born” such as anecephaly which essentially translates to “born without a head.”

              2. Nancy Pelosi is a bioethecist.

          5. “I am not sure where to draw the line.”

            That is where you should stop. You aren’t sure, but you’re absolutely sure that the wizard behind the curtain is?

        1. It is tragic that someone died during what should be a safe medical procedure to remove unwanted fetal tissue.

          1. Susan = troll. Stop biting the bait, folks.

            1. I was going to mention that she’s failing the Turing test. I’m not even sure she’s human.

              1. I was going to mention that she’s failing the Turing test.

                Why?

          2. Troll, there is no “safe medical procedure”. There are only less risky ones. It is possible for you to die from someone putting an IV in your arm. Tragic if that happens? Yes. But the risks are there. Before a surgical procedure you have to sign off on the risks…that they have been explained and you are aware of them. You can refuse.

            Just thought I’d put that out there for general consumption. I hear patients and their families talking about being “safe” with medicine and go out of my way to educate them differently. Drives me nuts.

      3. Re: Susan,

        This:

        Because it may have serious side effects. It needs to be proven saf and effective first[…]

        Is contradicted by this:

        It is her body.

        You cannot have it both ways.

    3. Exaclty right jOhn, I don’t mind testing drugs etc for effectiveness and toxicity, and effectiveness. However, if an individual adult chooses to assume the risk of an experimental drug or method, the government should not hinder them. I believe this is also related to the drug “war”, the government should not tell us what things we can put in our body–regulating the circumstances I have no problem with–(DUI,child protection etc), but let us decide what is right for us, and if it is a mistake then so be it.

  4. I can’t get worked up about experimental drugs. If everybody had access to them it would be impossible to conduct clinical trials. While I would support lifting all restrictions on access to drugs on philosophical grounds, I think it would drastically slow medical advances.

    This would have been a better piece if John had focused on pain management. At least he doesn’t blame Obama. Still, he’ll have to advocate for making crack and meth as available as booze before he can claim to have cut the strings from his FOX puppet masters.

    1. Fuck off Warren. Seriously fuck off. If you have a problem with my posts, at least read the damned things. Go find one where I ever defend the drug war.

      As far as experimental drugs, you argument is stupid. If you got rid of the FDA tomorrow, that wouldn’t mean that companies would immediately start selling unproven drugs to anyone and everyone who wants them. They still would be subject to tort law and have plenty of motivation to ensure that their products worked and were not harmful before they sold them. Further, drug companies want to produce advanced drugs. That is their business. If giving out a drug to everyone would destroy their ability to test its effectiveness, they wouldn’t do it. They would conduct trials first and figure out if the stuff worked and make sure it was safe. The difference would be that they would conduct the trials based on their scientific judgment rather than spending millions and years trying to convince an overly cautious FDA bureaucrat.

      It really takes a lot of nerve of you to make some snarky Fox News comment about me, after making such a dumb ass argument for the FDA. Pathetic.

      1. Warren might have been referring to John Stossel….

        tee hee!

      2. No no. I didn’t mean John John, John Stossel John.

        JS doesn’t support the drug war either. But since joining FOX news, he’s been one of the choir blaming Obama for all the ills of mankind. I’d like to see him distance himself from that.

        1. Sorry. I thought you were talking to me. My apologies.

          1. Interesting how John automatically assumes it’s all about him.

            1. You mean it isn’t?

        2. JS doesn’t support the drug war either. But since joining FOX news, he’s been one of the choir blaming Obama for all the ills of mankind. I’d like to see him distance himself from that.

          Name one criticism of Obama that Stossel has made that you think is unjustified.

          If everything Stossel is saying about Obama is spot on, which seems to be the case, are you saying that he should quit criticizing some of the bad things Obama does because it will reduce your cognitive dissonance about FOX news being on the correct side of something?

          1. Name one criticism of Obama that Stossel has made that you think is unjustified.

            He can’t; he just has some bizarre hangup with Fox News. He makes the same stupid comment in every John Stossel thread.

            1. Obama is the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. It is in the job description to be blamed for everything.

        3. I haven’t seen that at all. He doesn’t attack Obama with the regularity that Beck or Hannity does. Stossel is very issue focused. When any candidate is wrong on an issue, he’ll call them on it. He blames Obama for problems he causes and the fears he propagates, such as health care reform.

          1. I concur – Stossel has focused his show entirely on anti-market schemes, bad policies and economic illiteracy, not so much your run-of-the-mill political issues.

            Since his show focuses on the unintended consequences of policies and regulations, combining clear real-world examples with top-notch, high quality investigative reporting, instead of simply talking about it, he is possibly more hated by the intelligentsia than a Glenn Beck or other pundits and talking heads.

            1. Having an entire hour has been a real plus for Stossel, IMO. He can really go in depth about an issue. Some of his 20/20 segments were too short; his points sounded like confirmation bias because he couldn’t get into the issue at hand.

            2. Also it is not like Stossell just discovered that things like the FDA are bad now that Obama is running things. These are the same kinds of pieces he was doing at ABC.

        4. I have not seen all of the shows done by Stossel (I don’t get FBN and I am not particularly worried about it), but in the most recent one fresh in my mind – on school choice – the only criticism that I recall was the justified one about ending the DC Vouchers program. It certainly didn’t strike me as the kind of over-zealous red vs blue rivalry, blind hatred you might hear from Glenn Beck or other yak-machines. Not sure I see that one Warren – perhaps some examples of episodes? Honestly it sounds like a bit of sour grapes against Fox more than a legit criticism of JS unless I am totally missing something here…

      3. Dude.
        You forgot to say “I’m canceling my subscription!”

        1. Is this Cancel My Subscription Day? I didn’t get the memo.

          1. It’s a personal religious holiday.
            Cancel my subscription.

    2. Making it illegal to take the drugs at all doesn’t slow down medical advance? Medical advance is more important than the lives of the people it is supposed to save.

      1. In a free society each person is free to decide how important their own life is in comparison to medical advance.

    3. Re: Warren,

      I can’t get worked up about experimental drugs. If everybody had access to them it would be impossible to conduct clinical trials.

      You should re-read what you typed. If people have access to experimental drugs, wouldn’t that be the OPPORTUNITY to run clinical trials? You already have the volunteers! You are basically shooting down your own argument.

      While I would support lifting all restrictions on access to drugs on philosophical grounds, I think it would drastically slow medical advances.

      I don’t see how. What would be the mechanism for such hindrance to happen? You will have to elaborate.

      This would have been a better piece if John had focused on pain management.

      Why would that be? The FDA and the DEA are two overbearing bureaucracies that hinder care in this society.

      At least he doesn’t blame Obama. Still, he’ll have to advocate for making crack and meth as available as booze before he can claim to have cut the strings from his FOX puppet masters.

      There you go again – So, if one points out the evident, obvious, crystal-clear lies told and stupidities done by the Obama administration and the Pharaoh himself, that means ipso facto one is Murdoch’s puppet? Obama is the one in office – who else do you think is running the show that deserves the spotlight, then?

      1. While I would support lifting all restrictions on access to drugs on philosophical grounds, I think it would drastically slow medical advances.

        I don’t see how. What would be the mechanism for such hindrance to happen? You will have to elaborate.

        Because if all drugs are legalized then (quite obviously) every single person will run out and begin taking every single one of them immediately, thereby making this nation devoid of a control group. DUH!

        1. Re: K-Y,

          Because if all drugs are legalized then (quite obviously) every single person will run out and begin taking every single one of them immediately, thereby making this nation devoid of a control group. DUH!

          You mean a company will simply release an untested drug to the public?

          BULLSHIT! Even toaster manufacturers send their stuff to U/L before selling it to the public – drug manufacturers would get their shit tested. Sans the FDA, it would be much cheaper and quicker. You and Warren are nuts.

          1. While what you say about toasters is true, UL has never approved a turkey fryer. Its basically impossible to make 8 gallons of oil sitting on a flimsy stand over an open flame to UL’s standards. And rightly so.

            1. Re: robc,

              While what you say about toasters is true, UL has never approved a turkey fryer.

              But it is not like you have not been warned, right? If you want to fry a turkey and you are aware of the risks, should the State still stop you because it thinks you’re too stupid to handle dangerous things?

              1. “Aware of the risks” is the key phrase here. You’re assuming that people are operating with perfect information. What if a Drug company decides to use an unsafe or risky substance in order to cut production costs but does not disclose the presence of that substance by calling it “proprietary” or something? Acting on the assumption that “oh they wouldn’t do something to harm their customers” would then be foolish at best. An obligation to disclose production methods and ingredients seems essential to providing the information required to make a proper choice.

                1. There is no such thing as perfect information. Ever. The thing about medicine is that it is a constantly changing field. We find out that drugs have effects we never knew existed and uses we didn’t suspect. But if someone is dying anyway and they want to have a bit of hope rather than just waiting to check out, why do you have a problem with excepting that experimental drug? Let them be followed closely by their physician for side effects and the like. Might make our understanding of that drug better.

                  Just as an aside, how many of you guys posting here have ever had to tell someone that you have nothing left to offer them and that they’re going to die? What if you had to tell them that knowing that an experimental treatment existed that showed great promise and probably would get approved in 3 months? The patient has 2 months. When you do that, I’ll be happy to hear your views. I’m sure they’ll be interesting.

                  1. Okay “perfect” is too much to ask for. But what about deliberately withholding information about known dangers?

                    And terminal illness is just one part of medicine. What about people who aren’t dying anytime soon?

                    1. The people who aren’t dying anytime soon are the ones who can participate in the medical studies, alleviating Warren’s concern.

              2. “But it is not like you have not been warned, right? If you want to fry a turkey and you are aware of the risks, should the State still stop you because it thinks you’re too stupid to handle dangerous things?”

                Yes, if it has to provide all of the medical coverage!!!!! Just ask Harry or Nancy!

        2. That’s silly. I certainly wouldn’t take an untested drug. I’d wait a year and see if lawsuits happen. If not, I might join in. It’s my choice. Self ownership includes the right to risk one’s life by taking untested or dangerous substances.

    4. Companies can restrict access to experimental drugs, and would. This is silly.

  5. Let’s get down to basics: Is the FDA effective? If not, why?

    Once you’ve answered those questions, think about whether private sector certifications (independent of the food and/or drug manufacturer) couldn’t take the place of the FDA and operate much more effectively.

    1. FDA is not effrctive in protecting people becuase they are killing them. Even if FDA were affective it should still be disbanded for restricting personal liberty.

    2. Re: Pro Libertate,

      Is the FDA effective? If not, why?

      It is VERY effective – considering it was specifically designed to raise the cost of entry for many upstart and competing companies and to keep the price of food and drugs high. It has fulfilled its real purpose perfectly.

      . . . Or what did you have in mind?

      1. Funny. Gosh darn I love regulation and bureaucracy.

    3. Delays from a small handful of drugs have WAY cost more lives than all the harmful drugs the FDA has kept off the market. Its so ineffective in the exact opposite of its stated goals that it is silly to even consider it.

      1. I was talking to the believers. I already know the answer.

  6. I’m ideologically opposed to the FDA, being a libertarian, but I’m also opposed to it as a practical matter.

  7. I’m canceling Citizen Nothing’s subscription, banning him from H&R, and sending out a hit team…..

    🙂

  8. C’mon people! Its the same logic used for the death penalty -alcohol swabbing before lethal injection. We wouldn’t want the convicted criminal to suffer an infection 2 seconds before dying because that would be inhumane.

    1. Try this: what if there’s a last-minute stay of execution and now we (the taxpayers) have the burden of treating a nasty infection. If it’s an actual innocence case (see Balko’s writings) then we’re on the hook morally and financially for cruel and unusual…

      Think, Dickie, think…

      1. I’d call that a last second stay of execution not last minute. I’d also call it bullshit because it’ll never happen like that. 🙂

        1. Actually, Dickie, I recently had to read the execution manual for the State of Maryland as part of my duties at work.

          They start a saline drip at least fifteen minutes ahead of pushing the drugs through.

          And yes, defense counsel typically files all sorts of motions for stays during the last hours before an execution, and some of those actually get granted. This knowledge also derives from what I do for a living.

          But don’t let me ruin your petulant little bullshit-calling.

          1. Sounds like a Law & Order episode, if not perhaps it should be. You know, very dramatic.

            1. Then somehow the evil doctor or tea party member actually framed the poor minority who now has flesh eating bacteria of his arm. He later dies and the evil pharmaceutical company CEO is charged and convicted of murder for manufacturing unsafe execution needles.

  9. If there was no FDA the insurance companies would step in and make sure the drugs their clients sold are “safe”. After all they lose money if their clients get sued for harming someone.

    1. Insurance companies would probably still not cover for experimental treatments. However, once the FDA is gone, experimental or novel treatments would be more affordable since the producers would not have to jump through burning hoops just to get approval for testing, let alone distribution.

      1. +1

        The average cost to bring a single drug to market: ~$1 billion. That figure is for the one drug alone, and doesn’t include the numerous others that are tested with big $$ that don’t make it. Nobody in their right mind would invest that kind of capital into an investment without wanting some kind of return. But of course, they’re all just evil corporations so fuck ’em eh?

        1. Re: The Pharmacologist,

          Totally right. The example given by Stossel, about the retinal implant, indicates that the FDA is nothing more than a barrier-to-entry scheme, to keep potential competitors and upstarts out of the market. That is what it was specifically designed for.

          1. No, it was designed to ensure the safety of food and drugs.

            1. Re: Susan,

              No, it was designed to ensure the safety of food and drugs.

              If that is what you think, so be it. In that case, it has failed miserably. But you are absolutely wrong – the FDA was specifically designed to keep competition out of the market – most of its regulations were written by insdustry lobbyists.

            2. Sure it was and the Dept of Energy was created to get us off our 30% dependency on foreign oil so today we have a 70% dependency.

              And since the creation of the Dept of Education…bah…furgit bout it!

              FREEDOM IS SLAVERY!
              IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH!

          2. Reminds me of a recent article in my local paper. Apparently, some moms have their panties all bunched up over some expensive drug that treats some rare childhood cancer. They are upset that the evil pharmaceutical company charges 20K per treatment. They want to force the company to sell it cheaper as it obviously “gouges” the poor cancer kids. At $1 BILLION per drug, they charge what they charge. People are so short sighted.

  10. What about keeping the FDA, but letting unapproved medicines etc still come to market after some minimal safety testing? Maybe you could have somebody sign something saying that they recognize that the product has not been approved by the FSA, but they could still buy it if they understood there were possibly higher risks involved.

    1. What about leaving the safety responsibility up to the company. They have an incentive not to release dangerous products. It hurts their image and they’d still be subject to tort law.

      1. What would stop a company from spinning off a division for each drug and selling majority shares to the parent. If the company is autonomous, they can’t sue to parent company if the drug is bad and the spin off company has little resources. Lawyers help?

    2. Perhaps the solution is to have an FA (Food Administration). Why are drugs and food in the same federal agency?

  11. I’ll even compromise a little. Keep the FDA, just let me sign a paper that says “I have read the FDA findings and will take them under advisement,” and then go get whatever drugs my doctor and I have discussed that look promising for my problem.

  12. Everyone arguing with Sockpuppet Susan up there, you got played like a child-sized harpsichord.

  13. Utah criminalizes…miscarriages:

    http://trueslant.com/johnknefe…..g-a-state/

    1. It’s still legal to push a chick you knocked up down a flight if stairs, right? I mean, not in the third trimester or anything. I’m not a fucking monster.

      1. Couple of glasses of wine and a hot tub. Followed by a cold shower (optional, but it’ll help). Little bastard will slide out like shit through a goose and she’s none the wiser. If she balks at the wine, explain that a few glasses won’t cause F.A.S (they really won’t). Got to be done very early in the pregnancy though, like right after she misses her first period. It might work later, but I don’t think so. Ask your doctor. Should be a real fun conversation.

    2. Wow. That should go to SCOTUS and get struck down.

  14. [sfx: Bach played on harpsichord]

    *&^%$#@! Now you tell me. I’ll never get those five minutes back…

  15. Re: Susan,

    This:

    Because it may have serious side effects. It needs to be proven saf and effective first[…]

    Is contradicted by this:

    It is her body.

    Both statements come from you in the very same post. You cannot have it both ways.

  16. The underlying bigger picture: Some Constitutional law experts have white papered their opinions as to the unconstitutionality of administrative law, i.e. FDA, DEA, etc. Some say admin law violates the separation of powers clause. Google it. Elected members of the House and/or Senate have the constitutional authority to make laws, not political appointees. Thus, when a federal agent (of any department) enforces a rule some bureaucrat made in his respective agency, isn’t it that federal government employee who is the potential lawbreaker, instead of the taxpaying consumer?

    1. And they have a point. As a practicing lawyer, I can tell you that most of federal law is “regulatory law”. The meat of things like environmental and pharmaceutical law is in the regulations not the statutes. And those regulations were not written by Congress and are damned near impossible to rewrite.

      1. Precisely my point.

      2. John, Are you a practicing environmental lawyer by any chance?

  17. You guys are free to go and take any substance you want. Shove a rusty tire iron up your ass for all I care. But if you want to sell prescription drugs and benefit from having access to the American market (and it loves its drugs), then you have to abide by the standards the constituents of that marketplace make via their government.

    1. Tony that is even a stupid statement for you. All you are doing is appealing to authority and begging the question. The government has said so and therefore you must obey is not an argument. The question is whether the government is making the right decision.

      1. Is it possible that we all want to create a Libertarian utopia where all have an IQ of 120. Another post on Reason want to open up regulatory standards for physicians, but now this post stares we need docs to explain new drugs in the absence of the FDA. So which is it? If you are reading Reason, you have an above average IQ. If you are reading the comments you probably have a much higher IQ than average. Folks we don’t represent mainstream. I love being the fringe Libertarian as much as the next guy, but Maher was right about Americans…….

    2. Re: Tony,

      You guys are free to go and take any substance you want.

      That’s the problem, Tony – nobody in the US is free to do that. You are dwelling in crass disingenuity.

      But if you want to sell prescription drugs and benefit from having access to the American market (and it loves its drugs), then you have to abide by the standards the constituents of that marketplace make via their government.

      Another disingenuity. The constituents of the marketplace did not create the FDA nor the DEA. You are talking out of your ass.

      1. That’s the problem, Tony – nobody in the US is free to do that.

        Really? Go drink some antifreeze and see who stops you.

        The constituents of the marketplace did not create the FDA nor the DEA.

        I know it’s not really the point of this article–a lot of which I agree with–but go ahead and try advocating abolishing the FDA. It would make it clear immediately that you just aren’t aware of how much good the FDA has done.

        1. Re: Tony,

          Really? Go drink some antifreeze and see who stops you.

          The label that says: Not For Human Consumption.

          Try to go to a pharmacy and buy simple antibiotics with no prescription, to learn what a “free” country this is.

          It would make it clear immediately that you just aren’t aware of how much good the FDA has done.

          Go ahead, make me aware.

          1. The label that says: Not For Human Consumption.

            I wonder how many lives that simple little regulation has saved.

            Try to go to a pharmacy and buy simple antibiotics with no prescription, to learn what a “free” country this is.

            See how fast our entire store of antibiotics becomes completely ineffective if people can get them whenever they want using their own judgment.

            1. The label that says: Not For Human Consumption.

              I wonder how many lives that simple little regulation has saved.

              Oh, an uncounted number of retards. How else would Obama have won?

            2. What about the people who can’t read because of failing schools? Perhaps the companies should have to have audio labels. But what if you’re deaf and can’t read. Hmm…see where this goes?

            3. Re: Tony,

              I wonder how many lives that simple little regulation has saved.

              Not the lives that mattered, since those did not need the label and the ones that needed it should be dead and receiving their Darwin Award. Damned labels!

              The point is: We don’t need the labels, and we’re NOT free to take just anything we want, if it is regulated, taxed or banned by the Nanny State.

              See how fast our entire store of antibiotics becomes completely ineffective if people can get them whenever they want using their own judgment.

              Ooohh, oh, oh, oh, don’t tell me! Don’t tell me! “Because people are too stupid!”

              Did I get it right? Did I, Tony? Did I get it right? Huh? Did I?

              Actually antibiotics are avaialble with NO prescription in many countries and they have not lost their effectiveness there for overuse – it has been rather in the developed countries (like the US) where doctors prescribed them for EVERYTHING.

              In Mexico, I only went to buy antibiotics (by myself) for bronchitis and tummy infections. I have found Mexican antibiotics to still be pretty effective, despite the lack of “prescription laws”. Maybe us Mexicans DO have a better judgment, after all.

              1. Not the lives that mattered, since those did not need the label and the ones that needed it should be dead and receiving their Darwin Award. Damned labels!

                I know you’re being cute, but any society complex enough to have invented a drug industry is not one in which we can reasonably expect all citizens to be able to be informed about everything in their world. This is why we hire people do to the regulations for us. We don’t all have access to panels of experts. But we can if we outsource them to the government.

                I’ll step over your sentiment that the non-crime of being stupid should legally merit the death penalty. I’m sure it was an ironic joke.

                As to your anecdote about how bacteria would be less evolvable if only the CDC got out of the way and let the market do that thing it does–I think we both want doctors and other experts deciding how to best ration antibiotics, right? But certainly not because people are TOO THOOPID to understand the microbiology cutting edge.

    3. Shove a rusty tire iron up your ass for all I care.

      Stop projecting, douchefuck.

      1. Want to know what I call having a rusty tire iron shoved up my ass?

        Tuesday.

  18. “We must prevent terminally people from getting drugs, or else they may die”.

    That privacy bot’s head will asplode when it reads that. DOES NOT COMPUTE!

    1. What if it has not been proven safe and effective? Allowing them to take it if they are not a good candidate for a trial could make the data no good. What if they are in a trial and get the placebo?

      1. If it’s not safe and effective they become more ill than they already are, it may have no effect at all or in the worst case scenario they may die. If they don’t take it, well just Google “terminal illness”; you are clearly unfamiliar with that term.

        Sure drugs kill people, apparently “adverse reactions to prescription drugs” results in 32,000 deaths in the US annually. Contrast that with the 435,000 people killed by tobacco, 365,000 deaths due to poor diet and physical inactivity, 85,000 due to alcohol and 26,347 due to vehicle accidents. Should the government prohibit cigarettes, alcohol, cars and fat people in the name of “protecting” people? If the answer is no then why the double standard with prescription drugs? Data. Interesting side note: the number of deaths due to marijuana annually: ZERO.

        Or is it just another case of damning the big, bad profit chasers? At least when communists killed 100,000,000 people last century no large corporation made a profit.

      2. Sorry, I left out the word “ill” for some reason. Must have been rushing. But yeah: terminally ill people are going to die whether or not they get the potentially life saving drugs, so they may as well get the drugs.

  19. Stossel forfeits any real claim to credibility in this piece by relying heavily on the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. The AAPS is notorious for its anti-vaccination, pro-quackery stands. Everyone should read what Orac of Respectful Insolence has posted about the AAPS. Here’s a link to one of his posts:

    http://tinyurl.com/yj8kjzo

    Stossel’s failure to do his homework before citing these quacks makes me doubt whether he really got the full story about anything he talks about in this article.

    1. Dropping Orac’s name isn’t doing you any favors here (see “Credibility, Loss Of”). Sure, I like his smackdowns of the anti-vacc crowd, but he’s part of the rabidly pro-statist Pharyngula crowd. Used to hang out there, since I’m Atheist and all, but they never met an individual right that they weren’t willing to sacrifice “for the children” or whatever.

      1. Oh, please, Tonio. ScienceBlogs is not just a crowd of P.Z. Myers clones (he writes Pharyngula, for those who don’t know). There is quite a range of viewpoints to be found there. Regular readers know that Orac has publicly disagreed with PZ in the past year on a couple of significant issues.

        This is just a “guilt by association” smear, and not a very good one at that.

    2. Pardon me, but since when is one citation “heavy reliance”? The possibility of going to jail for overprescribing pain meds does exist, and believe me, physicians are aware of that.

  20. I’m glad you all feel this way.

    Now I have a new pill for you all that I promise will keep you from getting cancer.

    Only $20 bucks a bottle.

    1. PS…I forgot to tell you; I am a licensed health care professional. Step right up.

    2. And of course we will ask you for proof. Believe it or not, we don’t need the government to do that for us.

  21. I’m getting CREAMED!

    It may have given them just enough practice to be ready to confront and refute the president today. For what it’s worth, the GOP’s round-up of media praise (you don’t hear that very often, huh?):

    CNN’s WOLF BLITZER: “It looks like the Republicans certainly showed up ready to play.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

    CNN’s GLORIA BORGER: “The Republicans have been very effective today. They really did come to play. They were very smart.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

    ? BORGER: “They took on the substance of a very complex issue. ? But they really stuck to the substance of this issue and tried to get to the heart of it and I think did a very good job.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

    ? BORGER: “They came in with a plan. They mapped it out.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

    CNN’s DAVID GERGEN: “The folks in the White House just must be kicking themselves right now. They thought that coming out of Baltimore when the President went in and was mesmerizing and commanding in front of the House Republicans that he could do that again here today. That would revive health care and would change the public opinion about their health care bill and they can go on to victory. Just the opposite has happened.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

    ? GERGEN: “He doesn’t have a strong Democratic team behind him.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

    THE HILL’S A.B. STODDARD: “I think we need to start out by acknowledging Republicans brought their ‘A Team.’ They had doctors knowledgeable about the system, they brought substance to the table, and they, I thought, expressed interest in the reform. I thought in the lecture from Senator John McCain and on the issue of transparency, I thought today the Democrats were pretty much on their knees.” (Fox News’ “Live,” 2/25/10)

    1. No posts today on the summit. It must have gone badly. Maybe the staff doesn’t have time to post on it because they are busy on Sullumn and Suderman’s suicide watch.

      1. It’s going very, very badly.

      2. LOL, I’ll have to go see if the KOS folks are all shitting themselves. If the summit went badly they’ll be going crazy, and I find that entertaining.

        1. I didn’t watch any of it. But according to the CATO liveblog, at one point Obama said that high deductible, catastrophic insurance was not “real insurance” and thus people shouldn’t be allowed to buy it.

          1. If this is true, you somehow managed to, long after I thought it could not get lower, lower my opinion of the intelligence of Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th President of the United States.

            1. It’s all semantics. If by “insurance” you mean “pre-paid health care plan for every bruise and sniffle,” then no… catastrophic insurance is not “insurance.”

              But then, maybe it’s refreshing that Obama is finally being honest about the system he seeks to pervert and destroy.

              1. He’s being honestly dishonest.

          2. Apparently I am not insured then… this might help to explain how they come up with crazy-high numbers of uninsured? If it is not insurance we like, then it’s not insurance.

          3. John, can you link me to an exact quote?

            1. Nevermind, found it.

              1. I was not as crafty – would you mind providing where you found it?

                1. Here you are

                  Obama is saying that catastrophic insurance is not real insurance, but comprehensive insurance is real insurance. That’s the opposite of what I believe.
                  Thursday February 25, 2010 11:58 Arnold Kling
                  11:58

                  Arnold Kling:
                  He is arguing against high-deductible plans.
                  Thursday February 25, 2010 11:58 Arnold Kling
                  12:01

                  Arnold Kling:
                  So, we can’t have high-deductible plans because that would lead to adverse selection? Oh, come on…
                  Thursday February 25, 2010 12:01 Arnold Kling
                  12:01

                  Arnold Kling:
                  Obama: We are not taking over health insurance. We are just going to design the policies and fix the prices, that’s all…

                  http://www.cato-at-liberty.org…..re-summit/

                  It is at 12:01 in the liveblog.

                  1. Freedom is slavery, you reactionary monster.

                  2. Thank you very much!!

          4. Not surprisingly, Kos is whining that “In a stunning display of one-sided coverage, during the first three hours of coverage of the Health Care Summit televised so far, CNN only interrupted, whether for commercial or comment, Democratic speakers.”

      3. Been listening all day. It’s going badly for Republicans, but I’m sure that’s not what you mean.

      4. WTF? Sullum writes about drugs and guns. Where are you getting that he’s pro-Obamacare?

        1. He hides the truth behind his beard. You cannot trust him. Do not trust him.

          1. He also hides a .380 there. Conceal carry, dontcha know…

        2. He doesn’t like kickin’ swarthy ass in the Middle east, so he’s obviously a sneaky Democrat sneaker sneak.

        3. Sullumn is always on here apologizing for Obama. Just last week he had a whole piece about how Obama really isn’t that unpopular. I have no idea what his position on Obamacare is. But his love for Obama is unquestioned. He is the one Reason staff member who admitted to voting for Obama.

          1. You’re mistaken. There are a number of people connected with Reason who deserve some measure of opprobrium for their ChangeyHopey delusions, but Sullum is not one of them.

            1. You are right. One of them voted for Obama. For some reason I thought it was Sullumn.

  22. The FDA is the perfect example of regulatory capture. Glad to see others have already brought up UL, i’ve used this as an alternative to many IRL.

    Then OTOH like Vioxx take Chantix as a perfect example.
    “Varenicline received a ‘priority review’ by the FDA in February 2006, shortening the usual 10-month review period to 6 months because of its demonstrated effectiveness in clinical trials and perceived lack of safety issues.”
    “The journal Nature reported in 2005 that 70% of FDA panels writing clinical guidelines on prescription drug usage contained at least one member with financial links to drug companies whose products were covered by those guidelines.”
    (wiki chantix and criticism of FDA)
    The FDA creates a false sense of security for some drugs, in addition to the obvious faults from the article.

    All this, of course, is missing the point …. who owns yer body?

  23. If the doctor’s labor union (the AMA) didn’t run the show, the American people would be better off.

  24. I want someone in this audience to suggest the FDA make suggestions but not prohibit.

  25. Remind me not to trust your first instinct, John.

  26. Ha, take that, college girl in front row, with your pending angina.

  27. Wow, this woman can’t be the best spokesperson they could come up with.

  28. Doesn’t John realize he’s trying to steal a bureaucrat’s power?

  29. Oh, here we go, spoiler time.

  30. Have you ever threaded a needle? It’s maddening. You’re not doing blind people any favors.

  31. Uh-oh. Coming up, adversarial nepotism.

  32. John’s getting antsy with Dr. Relman.

  33. Either Thomas is adopted or the mustache gene skips a sibling.

  34. He’s evading your questions, John. Give him a noogie!

  35. We see the true free market capitalist in this family!

  36. The DEA will judge the worth of your pain.

  37. Damn, who the fuck sits on these juries?

  38. Goddammit, Stossel’s show is infuriating.

  39. Montel’s sweater is made of hemp.

  40. America’s drug policy is racist? Who would have guessed.

  41. Uh-oh, bringing the Obama kids into it.

  42. “If Kitty Dukakis was in excruciating pain and there was a joint on the nightstand…”

  43. I just watched tonight to see if the DEA was going to storm the Stossel studio midshow. What a gyp.

  44. John, be honest.

    What you are really trying to say is that the American ideal of a “right to long life” no matter the cost is simply impossible.

    We need to deregulate markets for health care today and allow people to drink, smoke, and use any kind of drug they want.

    Then let them die when they want to and may have to. It is not my responsibility to guarantee someone else all the health care they can have in order to live as long as they like.

    The truth is this John. Under the free market, loads of unhealthy poor people are going to die.

    Be honest. Admit it.

    1. Be honest bill, under any healthcare or governmetn system the long term mortality rate of any population is 100%. Even healthy rich people die eventually.

    2. I like how you conflate poor and stupid to be the same thing. That’s a lovely world view you have there.

  45. First Ron Paul, now Stossel… how many will we lose to the idiocy of taking the AAPS as even remotely legit.

  46. Under the free market, loads of unhealthy poor people are going to die.

    Just like under the free-market food system, loads of unhealthy poor people have starved!

  47. This is pretty weak stuff, and typical of this site and John Stossel; making the arguement from the extreme. The FDA exists to protect millions of consumers from potentially harmful new drugs or “medicines”. Yes, they circumvent market forces which would eventually otherwise ‘weed out’ ineffective or harmful drugs, but without the thousands of human lab rats. Your next argument of course is that pharmaceuticals could be regulated by a private agency or similar. Perhaps, but I suspect that your beloved market forces would lead to a revolving door with dozens of competing agencies, increasingly corrupt, then bankrupt due to liability. People would trust and take fewer drugs, not more, regardless of the number of such drugs on the market; not to mention the increase in Snake Oil.

  48. Yeah! We need to get rid of the building codes too. Building codes drove up the cost of my tenement like 18%, thus repressing me, and depriving me of freedom.
    So a couple kids got burnt up in one a my other buildings. Fire escapes cost a shitload of money. That family knew they might not get out in case of fire. They shouldn’t have signed the lease. That’s the last bunch of spics I give a break on rent.

  49. Can we call you Liberals……..”Progressives”? Screw all of you liberal morons. You are willing to give this country away without a shot being fired to acquire socialism/communism because you don’t want to work, you always have your hands out for something free, paid for by “someone else” and you want big government to make your decisions for you in everyday life. What a buch of “whooses” you liberals are!

    “Declaration of Tea Party Independence”

    The tea party movement is not run from any central point. There is no national, controlling apparatus, no top down structure, no board of directors, no president, no head person of any kind in charge of the tea party movement. In spite of what the untrustworthy mainstream press or the corrupt political class has attempted to portray, the tea party movement is a grass roots movement which has grown up nearly spontaneously across the United States in response to the overwhelming corruption of a cynical, elitist, and criminal ruling class which has long since abandoned the principles associated with the founding of this nation in favor of a self serving and shameful aggrandisement of themselves and their political associates. This ruling class has driven the people of this country into a state of justifiable rebellion and we the people have risen in response to state publicly that we have borne the burden of an out of control government for as long as we can reasonably be expected to do so. The founding fathers of this nation set forth the principles under which we the people would consent to be governed and the manner and means by which we could regulate, and control our destiny and that of our nation. This nation belongs to the people, not to any group of pretenders in any capital anywhere in the land, and as it is our country, we have the right to make whatever changes are necessary should it become apparent that government has become destructive of our rights and interests. The original Declaration Of Independence, the founding document of our country, laid out for all the world to see, the principles upon which this nation would forever cast its lot. In that document, it clearly states,

    “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends (the God given, Natural rights of man), it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it”.

    We the people have never relinquished that right, and in spite of the efforts of what has become largely a criminal class of thieves, usurpers, and arrogant elitists, to prevent us from exercising our rights as free Americans, we are coming forward on this day to present this Declaration Of Tea Party Independence in which we declare ourselves independent of the corrupt practices and policies of the major political parties of this nation, to include but not be limited to the Democrat and Republican parties and their corrupt apparatus and apparatchiks. It is our intent to live as free Americans, as much as possible, until such time as we can recapture our nation from the thieves and despots whose long train of usurious acts and usurpations have exacted an onerous and unseemly toll upon the honest citizens of these United States of America, so help us God.

    Amen.

    1. I’m sorry to be a contrarian…but Your tea party sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me…you don’t sound like libertarians to me…you sound distinctly intolerant in fact, and you believe in the opposite of liberty. Liberty for yourselves, but not for anyone else, you only believe you have a right to an opinion, and anyone who might disagree in the slightest is subject to outrageous, exagerrated bullying criticism. The Libertarian party has been around for a long time…and even some members of other parties–like Ron Paul who have actual ideas are also real alternatives to the dysfunctional parties we have, we should be working to get them elected. It feels like you people would make things worse, not better if you had power.

  50. I like that saying, thanks!
    Thanks for posting this. Very nice recap of some of the key points in my talk. I hope you and your readers find it useful! Thanks again

  51. Only, there may be no analysis of torture and anyone’s part inside it aside from looking in to the phony apple of 2002 using the enhance toward war

  52. Many thanks for sharing this information.

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