Jeff Jacoby writes Politicians, ‘profiteers,’ and public health
“It’s just incredible,” the deputy fire chief of Revere, Mass., marveled in a public-radio interview last year. “There’s somebody who’s on the ground who’s literally dead. They have no pulse. Sometimes they’re blue, sometimes they’re black. And you administer this stuff and sometimes in a minute or two or three, they’re actually up and talking to you.”
Free markets aren’t magic either. Yet their ability to generate a life-saving drug like Naloxone, supplying quantities sufficient to make it widely available even when the need is great, can seem even more miraculous. That miracle is not enhanced when politicians rebuke the entrepreneurs who manufacture or distribute such wonder drugs for charging a price that the market will bear.
Politicians, for instance, like Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. She lists opiate abuse among her most urgent public concerns, yet is going out of her way to pick a fight with vendors who actually help make things better.
The economic ignorance of our politicians is deadly.