Got an email from something called the Consumer Alliance for Global Prosperity, which is a thinly disguised slam at anything environmental.
One particularly egregious item on its alert list is the following:
It was one of Senator Barack Obama’s more troublesome moments on the 2008 campaign trail. In Bristol, Virginia – and without his teleprompter-crutch – Obama was forced to give a campaign speech on the stump about health care and preventative medicine. In a speech that hardly befitted a man usually associated with oratory dexterity, Obama struggled to convey to his audience that if a child was only given an inhaler they would not have to place a burden on the emergency room in their local hospital when their breathing condition worsened.
And yet, only a few years after lamenting the fact kids were unable to access such basic treatments, the Obama administration has decided to ban asthma inhalers that contain chlorofluorocarbons because, according to the Weekly Standard , they “deplete the ozone layer.” So, even the poor kids that Obama was referring to in his troubled spiel, will now have to search for an alternative and – excuse me – cough up more for their treatments: “Epinephrine inhalers are available via online retailers for around $20, whereas the alternatives, which contain the drug albuterol, range from $30 to $60.”
It seems pretty absurd that an administration that squandered so much political capital on an unpopular health care bill would now be attempting to fuse these reforms with their radical green agenda, even at the expense of the poor and the sick. In order to treat even the mildest forms of asthma, consumers will have less choice, more costs and less access to treatment. Basic treatments will no longer be available over the counter from a pharmacy. For an administration that often accuses its opponents of putting ideology before the greater good, this move stinks of hypocrisy.
This is wrong for any number of reasons.
First, I buy asthma inhalers and had to make the switch to the non-cfc type for prescription inhalers before Obama took office. So, blame Bush. It is good the FDA is finally catching up with the last holdouts for non-prescription epinephrine inhalers.
Second, the email touts the “cheaper” epinephrine-type inhalers (Primatene Mist is the only one on the market) as better for consumers instead of the albuterol inhalers. Epinephrine is an artificial version of adrenalin, and can help with an asthma attack, but it is also very very bad for your heart. That’s why Primatene is only for mild, occasional attacks.
Reducing CFC greenhouse gases is better for the planet’s ozone layer, something this bunch seems to think is bad (another item talks about how Greenpeace causes poverty.)
If they really care about consumers, instead of touting cheaper inhalers that are bad for your heart, they should work to make those inhalers unnecessary in the first place and save everyone a bucketload of money. Asthma meds cost hundreds of dollars per month.
Asthma is triggered by dirty air (among other things) so cleaning up the air will make life easier for asthma sufferers and they won’t have to spend so much money on any kind of inhaler, cheaper or otherwise.
But of course that would be bad for the medical industry, and we can’t have that.