Friday, April 11, 2008

A Real Pain in the Neck

A recent post of mine over at the Blog at

A Real Pain in the Neck

My congressman, Pat Tiberi (R-OH), is a generous man, always on the lookout for ways to expand the realm of the federal government into ever aspect of life. He feels for his constituents -- like a lord tending to his serfs. However, tears in private settings do not deliver votes. So, in order to keep his seat of power, my lord pronounces his big heart and big initiatives on posts throughout his land. To that end, Tiberi sends out a regular email to his constituents.

In the latest version of Tiberi's Capitol Notebook, our hero notes that, during a recent audience with one of his serfs, he learned about the trials and tribulation of those suffering chronic pain. Since a man of action does not sit idle, Tiberi researched the issue and soon found two other lords who also have serfs in the same predicament. Luckily, these masters were a little ahead of the issue, having co-introduced the National Pain Care Policy Act to "address the lack of education, access to care and research surrounding chronic pain." Relief is just around the corner.

According to Tiberi:

The bill would authorize the Institute of Medicine to conduct a special conference on pain care, establish a permanent authorization for the pain consortium at the National Institutes of Health, create a grant program for pain care management and education, and direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to implement a pain management public awareness campaign. Right now, the bill has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health.

Missing from this solution is any help for the serf whose pain started this whole mess. Missing is any recognition that government committees and panels, whether blues ribbon or otherwise, produce nothing; nothing save waste.

In the end, our serf will have to work a little longer and a little harder in order to pay for the increased misallocation of resources; resources that moved away from the entrepreneurs in the market to bureaucrats sitting in conference rooms, feasting on policies, regulations and catered meals.

That, my friends, is a real pain in the neck.

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