Bob Barr

New York’s penal code makes it a felony to practice medicine without a license. I suspect, however, that one potential defendant who is proposing to do just that, will escape prosecution. Meet “Mayor Bloomberg, M.D.”

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg never attended medical school, did not complete a hospital residency, and never has been admitted to the medical profession. Yet this public official – whose ire in recent years has targeted firearms, salt content, fatty foods, and large-sized soft drinks – is now moving to dictate how doctors should be allowed to issue prescription drugs for their patients.

Bloomberg’s limits on the power of doctors who practice in the Big Apple, is based on his opinion that prescription drugs are being widely abused. In Hizzoner’s mind, if something is perceived as being abused – whether soft drinks, firearms, or prescription drugs – it becomes fair game for his heavy hand of regulation.

The guidelines issued by the Mayor strictly limit how doctors in the City’s 11 public hospitals would be able to prescribe drugs. Under this plan, a physician could prescribe pain medication for no longer than three days; the plan also mandates an outright ban on certain long-acting opioid painkillers such as oxycodone and fentanyl patches.

Critics of the plan say it will leave poorer patients, who use the emergency room for primary care, with few options for pain management. Additionally, Bloomberg’s plan almost certainly will increase already stratospheric hospital costs, since patients will be forced to visit doctors’ offices more often in order to obtain prescription refills.

Unfortunately, Nanny Bloomberg is not alone in his assaults on individual choice and on the practice of certain businesses and professions; he simply is one of many cogs in the Big Government machine that is slowly eroding personal and localized control of our day-to-day lives.

Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.