Friday, January 11, 2008

Mumbles Menino Shows His True Colors


As anyone who hasn't been hibernating under a concrete slab knows, expanding access to healthcare for all Americans has been at the focus of every Democratic candidate's campaign this year, and has been a rallying cry for leftists from coast to coast for some time now.

So, one would think that having healthcare clinics open up in Boston, at which people were provided with easy access to affordable healthcare for minor ailments - without clogging up the emergency rooms in the area's hospitals or costing the city's taxpayers a single dime - would be a good thing, right?

Boston Mayor Tom Menino would beg to differ.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino embarked on a highly public campaign yesterday to block CVS Corp. and other retailers from opening medical clinics inside their stores, an effort that exposed a rift between Menino and the state's public health commissioner, a longtime ally.

Menino blasted state regulators for paving the way Wednesday for the in-store clinics, which are designed to provide treatment for sore throats, poison ivy, and other minor illnesses.

The decision by the state Public Health Council, "jeopardizes patient safety," Menino said in a written statement. "Limited service medical clinics run by merchants in for-profit corporations will seriously compromise quality of care and hygiene. Allowing retailers to make money off of sick people is wrong."

Translation: Allowing private sector entities to do this might just prove that free market based solutions (that don't require massive government bureaucracies to oversee the redistribution of taxpayer dollars) can, in fact, work. And that simply will be tolerated in the People's Progressive Republic of Massachusetts.

And, we know what a huge fan of free market principles old Mumbles is.

In a statement issued last night, executives of MinuteClinics said they "would be happy to talk to Mayor Menino about any of his concerns."

"We at MinuteClinic are committed to providing convenient, affordable access to quality health care," the statement said.

By issuing a broadside against the clinics and the state's approval of them, Menino placed himself squarely in opposition to a former longtime deputy, John Auerbach. Before becoming the state's public health commissioner last year, Auerbach spent nine years as executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission.

Auerbach's state agency yesterday released a statement defending its decision on the clincs: "The members of the Public Health Council were deliberative and thoughtful in their review of the limited service clinic regulation. We believe these types of clinics, operated either as part of a retail operation or in a nonprofit setting, can provide the public access to safe, convenient, and quality care for minor health issues."

Universal healthcare advocates are as much about providing quality healthcare for the poor as Al Gore and the IPCC are about stopping global warming.

Tear down the media-driven facade of feel-good platitudes and alarmist propaganda and you'll find, without fail, the beating heart of a power-hungry, collectivist thug.

Also blogging this...

Bryan at Hot Air:

The risk here is entirely borne by CVS and through competitive forces it might even help drive health care prices down. What’s Menino’s problem?

Oh, right. He’s a liberal big-government statist Democrat. Say no more.


These kinds of clinics are getting good reviews elsewhere. Is it too cynical to suspect that the real opposition stems from fears that they will make national healthcare seem less urgent?

Not in the least.

Michael Graham:

Menino's problem is that we're going to doctors who aren't government employees. Sick people are becoming healthy without taxpayer involvement. Even worse, CVS is going to make a profit and create jobs. Menino specifically complains that CVS will lure some of the best nurse practitioners away from city-run clinics and put them in the "dreaded private sector."

For big-government advocates like Menino, this is a disaster. He wants to make every health care professional a government employee, guaranteeing us lousy government health care provided by taxpayer-funded hacks. The private sector is now offering more healthy people, higher profits and more taxpaying, private sector workers.

No wonder Menino is so mad.

UPDATE: More blog reactions.

Jed at Freedom Sight:

Earth to Menino: Doctors, clinics, and hospitals sell health care. It’s how they bring in the revenue that keeps them operating.

So in the state that made health insurance mandatory (because they think this will mean that everybody will then get health care), and will fine you if you don’t have it, they now want to make it harder for businesses to provide care? Of course, in the socialist-addled brain of Menino and company, they just don’t get that health care is a business. And that by prohibiting low-cost clinics, they’ll drive the price up.

Truly, my head explodes.

The Astute Bloggers:

Menino proves that socialists are more concerned about maintaining government power than the people.

Corporations like CVS and WALMART (WHO HAVE BEEN DOING THIS SINCE 2005!) can bring affordable care to people BETTER than the government can.

They shouldn't be attacked and burdened with outrageous barriers. They should be encouraged and praised.

A Blog For All:

Why is Mayor Menino against a program that could bring affordable health care to the public?


It's all about the money - if CVS can turn a profit on these low cost retail operations, then it shows that the government intervention into the health care market may not be necessary after all, which means big trouble for those espousing big government intervention in health care - all of the Democrats running in 2008 have proffered one version or another for government health care.