Thursday, April 28, 2011

Legislature looks to sacrifice health for profit

State Rep. James Miceli, Democrat of Wilmington, came off as an idiot moments ago on the radio when he discussed the House vote, earlier this week, to repeal medical ethics law that went into effect less than two years ago. The Massachusetts Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Manufacturer Code of Conduct outlawed free meals and gifts that salesman and lobbyists for Big Pharma and medical-equipment makers were showering on doctors. Rep. Miceli voted for the law, but earlier this week he voted to repeal the law, one of the nation's toughest in this area. His rationale? The restaurant industry was hurting from the ban.

Now, the first thing that comes to mind is that this segment of the restaurant business cannot be more than tiny, and the drop-off that the industry is feeling must be do to the economic slowdown. However, even if it were true, how can we change a law designed to ensure more honest medical care for our citizens because of some rinky-dink dollars-and-sense byproduct? Rep. Miceli, speaking on WBUR's Radio Boston program, went on to explain the rationale for his original vote, but again talked about the impact on the restaurant industry.

Now maybe there are more legitimate reasons for adjusting, not repealing, the law (and some of them are listed in this article) but Rep. Miceli's comments -- in tandem with other recent actions by our state legislature -- leave me feeling like ignorant fools are running the show on Beacon Hill.

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