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Monday, April 17, 2017

Let's Address That Problem

How many problems have been addressed by federal legislation?  How many of those supposed problems really needed to be addressed?  How many problems have been addressed by federal regulations?  How many of those supposed problems really needed to be addressed?

These are not questions that have easy answers, but they are questions that require answers.  Another way of putting this is by asking how much of what the Congress and the various regulatory bodies do is actually necessary.

Consider this:  for a while, privacy advocates wanted Congress to protect the privacy rights of all Americans.  This led to all sorts of nonsense.  A good example is HIPA, which is supposed to protect privacy for patients in medical situations.  Anyone who has gone to see a doctor knows that he or she will be required to sign an affidavit swearing that the doctor's privacy rules have been given to the patient and explained as well.  Normally, no one sees those rule, and certainly no one explains them.  All that happens is that the doctor's staff spends time and resources to collect forms in which patients swear that this has happened.  It protects nobody's privacy; it just adds costs and waste to the medical system.  HIPA is also responsible for some of the crazier practices at pharmacies across America.  Not long ago, I went to CVS to pick up a prescription which had been automatically refilled.  I asked the clerk which medicine the prescription was for and she told me that she was not allowed to say that out loud as some other customer might hear and that would violate my privacy.  I told her that I did not care, but she told me that my feelings on the subject did not matter.  CVS was going to protect my privacy no matter how much that inconvenience me.  So there you have it.  The privacy of Americans with regard to medical care has been "addressed", but it has made no difference except to drive up the cost of medical treatment and to make the system harder to navigate for the average person.

How many more areas are there where statutes got passed to deal with a supposed problem but which did nothing to help.  Why is it that these statutes just stay on the books once passed? 

Isn't it time to get rid of all that garbage that just makes thing worse?

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