Monday, April 20, 2009

Michigan! Motto: We're Cheaper Than Lab Monkeys

Frequent readers of this blog know happiness is a cruel mistress...erm...we mean know that we like to visit various state legislatures from time to time to see what wacky adventures our elected officials have gotten themselves into. Virginia is a popular destination, but then so is Tennessee, Utah, Florida, well you get the point: Construct a state legislature just about anywhere, fill it with public servants and hilarity ensues.

Sort of like a circus that never leaves town. Or maybe a clown college, we're not sure. The point is, our own beloved Winter Water Wonderland is not immune from the aforementioned recipients of a Bachelors Degree in Jocularity.

For starters, did you know that Michigan is the only state in the union where Big Pharma is protected from lawsuits if they sell you a drug that, oh, we don't know, wrecks your body?

When Nancy Luckhurst underwent knee surgery five months ago, she was unaware an antibiotic she was given could cause joint pain and ruptured tendons. She also didn't know she would become part of an effort to repeal a Michigan law barring most lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies.

See, this is because one day, someone in the legislature woke up from their nap, wiped the drool off their face and said, "You know what would be a good idea? Giving the drug companies carte blanche to sell whatever they wanted to people, because...why not?" And of course the rest of the legislature went along because...why not? and the Governor signed the bill guessed it, why not?

See, in Michigan we call our House and Senate a "Deliberative body" by which most people mean they are not accidentally stupid, they're deliberately stupid.

Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, said Michigan's immunity law is the most restrictive in the nation. "Anyone who sees there is no other state with a law like Michigan's must conclude either all the other 49 states are wrong or Michigan is wrong," he said. "I think it's the latter."

Ha ha ha, Dr. Wolfe, you are obviously not a native Michiganian, Right Mike Bishop?

The democratically controlled state House last month passed bills to repeal Michigan's immunity law, but state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, said he does not intend to allow a vote on it in the Senate. "There are some things I have to be a stopper for," he said. "And one of those things is making drug companies responsible for the harm they do, so I don't have any intention of taking this issue up."

Boo Yah! You tell 'em Mikey boy. Who needs a legislature that's all protecting up the citizens anyway? So what if the drug companies sell some bad drugs and wreck people's lives? Other people will see that and not use the drugs, badda bing, badda boom problem solved.

A major goal of the law was to attract more pharmaceutical companies to Michigan, Bishop noted. "See, by making drug companies above the law in Michigan we put all those other states at a big disadvantage. It's like, a perfect plan man," Bishop told reporters. "I'm very smart you know."

The effort to repeal the immunity law "is pure politics of the worst kind," Bishop charged, "Politics that puts the rights of the citizens to have confidence that the drugs prescribed by their doctors won't kill them ahead of the drug companies right to some of that sweet sweet corporate profit."

Henry Greenspan, founder of Justice in Michigan, a nonpartisan group, said such sniping creates a false impression of a partisan divide. In 2007, one-third of House Republicans voted to repeal the law, he said, adding that his coalition includes "Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals."

"RINOS," Bishop responded. "Probably don't listen to Rush either. Besides, how we gonna balance the budget with all these old people running around here sucking up state services?"

Maybe they could just volunteer for clinical trials, like those folks in Tuskegee did.

UPDATE: Edited for clarity. Yeah, like you expect clarity from us.


Anonymous said...

I think the only thing interesting about McCain is his daughter. (Better than Palin, anyday!)
All I can say is that I have long - wondered why most Republicans look like they are from another planet. I used to think it was because they are most likely, inbred, but truly, as someone did say, their foreheads are not credible.
Greed, (pharmaceuticals, Medical Bureaus, etc) cattle and oil seems to be their sex toys. And they, of course, spread the disease.

Seeing Eye Chick said...

RINOS--Republican in Name only which is code for "Not yet a brain donor."

Tuskegee HA! What's a medically induced, neglected case of syphilis between friends? You are my friend right?

So is Mike Bishop Volunteering to take that Tendon Busting Drug? Can we give him a big dose of Phen Phen? How about some Baycol? I am hearing great things about Paxil and Congenital Heart Defects.

Norplant for bigger boobies, some extra cushion for pushing and maybe increased chance of stroke?