Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Republican's View of Addiction: Let Them Die

LePage: OD in Maine? Die, loser.
Okay, there is odious, and then there is obscene. Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage is both, as demonstrated by his belief that it's better that some drug abusers die so that others get the message that you shouldn't take drugs.

We've seen this before in 2011 when attendees of a CNN-sponsored Republican presidential primary debate screamed "Yeah!" when Wolf Blitzer asked candidate Ron Paul if Americans who didn't bother to have health insurance should just be allowed to die because of the lapse.

Now Gov. LePage is set to block legislation that would make drug-overdose antidotes widely available among first responders:
Fatal heroin overdoses in Maine quadrupled from 2011 to 2012. Naloxone is a drug that can reverse overdoses from heroin and other opioids like morphine. State Rep. Sara Gideon (D) is sponsoring legislation that would place the drug, which is sold under the trade name Narcan, in the hands of police, firefighters, at-risk users and their families.
Gideon said that ahead of a scheduled Wednesday hearing, the governor's chief health policy adviser, Holly Lusk, told her LePage would oppose the bill in its entirety.
"His main objection is his belief -- and I have to emphasize 'his belief' because there is no evidence that supports this at all -- his belief that increasing the availability of Narcan or naloxone will lead the drug user or drug abuser to have this feeling of invincibility," Gideon said.
Gov. LePage's message to his citizens is: Don't feel invincible in Maine. Here, in Maine, if you overdose, you die. Remember that next time you decide to become addicted.

SC Gov. Nikki Haley: Girls, sex
leads to death, don't you know?
Evidence that letting people die will discourage others from dying doesn't appear to exist, so why would Republicans pretend it does? Oh, I forgot. This is the party that believes in abstinence-only sex education, leading to higher teen birth rates in their states. This is the party that doesn't support the HPV vaccine, which prevents cervical cancer, because it might encourage teenagers to have sex. Better to get cancer than to feel free to experiment with the sexytime.

I know that it might appear that I'm picking on GOP governors. Okay, I'll stop picking on them when a Democratic governor blocks antidotes for addicts or HPV vaccines for girls, or refuses to expand Medicaid to help the uninsured. Till then, we should be all over GOP governors. I know I will.

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