Chris Spangle and Chloe Anagnos explain how government interferes with a person’s ability to improve their lives in a new installment of The Cost: The Human Toll of Government Policy.
How Big Government Hurts Those with Chronic Conditions
According to the CDC, chronic conditions are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States.
Chronic diseases and conditions—such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis—are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.
- As of 2012, about half of all adults—117 million people—had one or more chronic health conditions.
- One in four adults had two or more chronic health conditions.
- Seven of the top 10 causes of death in 2014 were chronic diseases. Two of these chronic diseases—heart disease and cancer—together accounted for nearly 46% of all deaths.
- Obesity is a serious health concern. During 2011–2014, more than one-third of adults (36%), or about 84 million people, were obese (defined as body mass index [BMI] ≥30 kg/m2). About one in six youths (17%) aged 2 to 19 years was obese (BMI ≥95th percentile).
- Arthritis is the most common cause of disability. Of the 54 million adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, more than 23 million say they have trouble with their usual activities because of arthritis.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations other than those caused by injury, and new cases of blindness among adults.
For those with chronic conditions, it’s difficult to get the medicine they need because:
Starting this year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will be enforcing new rules that limit the accessibility of almost every Schedule II opioid pain medication manufactured in the U.S. by 25 percent or more. This eliminates phone-in refills and mandates a check-in with a doctor every 90 days for a refill in an effort to curb opioid drug abuse and addiction.
In the United States, Schedule III and IV drugs, (like Xanax, Suboxone, etc.) are treated similarly. Moreover, a government ID must be presented in order to obtain things like cold medicine which could potentially be used to make Schedule I drugs like methamphetamine.
If I were to buy nasal decongestant in my home state of Indiana, not only would I need to present my driver license to the pharmacist, but my name, address, license number, and other personal information must be reported to the Indiana State Police and the Indiana Meth Investigation System.
Many know of the benefits of medical marijuana, but the federal government limits the amount of research that can be done:
“Research on marijuana’s potential for medicinal use has been hampered for years by federal restrictions, even though nearly half of the states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana in some form.”