Governor Jerry Brown waited until late Friday to veto legislation requiring coroners to report to the medical board whenever narcotics cause deaths. The medical establishment has opposed the bill, which is aimed at weeding out the small number of dangerous and drug dealing doctors who are responsible for the vast majority of prescription drug overdose deaths.
Brown cited state costs as his reason, but it just doesn't add up. The bill would have cost no more than hundreds of thousands of dollars. The power of the medical establishment is the real motive here, and their distaste for any accountability or transparency. The arrogance of medical-pharmaceutical complex is astounding, but what's really disturbing is that they have Jerry Brown's ear and pen.
The Los Angeles Times did a groundbreaking investigation of prescription overdose deaths and dirty doctors based on obtaining coroner reports like the ones that SB 62 would have required to be reported to the medical board. The fact that such a simple measure cannot get past the governor's desk shows why we need to go to the ballot with the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act, which requires mandatory drug testing of physicians and other patient saftety measures.
Drug testing physicians is not only critical to protecting the public from substance abusing doctors, but it is also remedies another epidemic -- the belief by the doctors lobby that they are above it all. Make them pee in a cup and some of the arrogance we have been witnessing in response to common sense measures like SB 62 will be reduced too.
After today, it might be wise to make Governor Brown pee in a cup too. The loss of judgement and clarity in the deliberation of SB 62 makes one wonder.