Kate Hicks
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America's Caringest Mayor is at it again: having saved New York from sugary drinks, Michael Bloomberg has turned his attention to painkiller addiction. The best option to prevent kids from abusing Mom's leftover Valium from her back surgery is, of course, curbing the supply of such drugs, so that's just what Bloomberg intends to do. As such, he's introduced a measure that would limit the supply of powerful pain drugs in emergency rooms -- despite the fact that lower-income families often use the ER as their primary care source. No matter: this is for the common good of New York.

“The city hospitals we control, so … we’re going to do it and we’re urging all of the other hospitals to do it, voluntary guidelines. Somebody said, oh, somebody wrote, ‘Oh then maybe there won’t be enough painkillers for the poor who use the emergency rooms as their primary care doctor,’” the mayor said on his weekly radio show with John Gambling. “Number one, there’s no evidence of that. Number two, supposing it is really true, so you didn’t get enough painkillers and you did have to suffer a little bit. The other side of the coin is people are dying and there’s nothing perfect … There’s nothing that you can possibly do where somebody isn’t going to suffer, and it’s always the same group [claiming], ‘Everybody is heartless.’ Come on, this is a very big problem.”

In the same interview, Mr. Bloomberg stressed the initiative’s simple rationale is to prevent extra pills from piling up in the cabinets of New Yorkers who no longer need them, where they can pose a health risk if they’re abused.

“We talk about drugs, heroin and crack and marijuana, this is one of the big outbursts–and it’s a lot worse around the country than it is here. It’s kids and adults getting painkillers and using them for entertainment purposes, or whatever field of purposes, as opposed to what they are designed for,” he explained. “If you break a leg, you’re going to be in pain, nothing wrong with getting something that reduces the pain. But if you get 20 days worth of pills and you only need them three days, there’s 17 days sitting there. Invariably some of the kids are going to find them, or you’re going to take them and get you addicted.”

That's right: if you're in pain, his answer is essentially, "Deal with it, people suffer all the time." This is better for you, after all -- Nanny Bloomberg says so.

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Kate Hicks

Kate Hicks is one of Townhall.com's web editors. You can follow her on Twitter @KateBHicks.