How I learned to stop worrying and love the government


By Maggie Thurber | For Ohio Watchdog

LUV GOV: Me and big government – true love always?

I’ve never been much of a fan of government. In general, I think it takes too much of our money for things we’d be better off doing for ourselves. But lately, it appears I really can’t survive without it.

For instance, what would I do without a national registry to track how much over-the-counter (now behind-the-counter) allergy medicine I buy? Thank goodness this tracking system is automated so any pharmacist can stop me from buying too many of the pills that relieve my sneezing and itchy eyes.

Never mind if I have coupons or if they’re on sale, or if I can just send my husband or parents to purchase some for me. The all-knowing government has my back.

Here in Ohio, a pending bill will tell me how to put my new-born baby to sleep. To parents with infants keeping them up all night long, don’t get too excited — it’s not what it sounds like.

House Bill 448 would require hospitals and birthing centers to hand out educational materials on safe sleeping practices — and note on the baby’s records the date and time they go over said materials with the parent, guardian or caregiver.

As state Rep. Michael Stinziano, D-Columbus, said in introducing the bill, “We need to work tirelessly to make sure our state helps parents provide the very best care for their babies.”

What did parents do before the state took on this role? Who knows, but at least they’re finally doing so now.

Then there are prescription medicines. The state regulates them in general, classifying them according to a schedule. If House Bill 359 passes, my doctor and my dentist can rely on the government to provide a fact sheet for me about certain Schedule II drugs or opiates and their addictive nature.

Apparently, my doctor and dentist won’t know or understand this potential side effective or the impact of using such medicines, so we should all be grateful the director of the Ohio Department of Health will be tasked with creating the fact sheet. At least he’s an M.D.

If I live in a condominium, I’ll be protected by House Bill 371, which would require my condo association manager to be a licensed real estate broker or be affiliated with one. It also would impose a host of other rules and regulations governing everything from meeting notices to proxy votes to record keeping.

Additionally, I will be able to use the new Ohio Condominium Dispute Resolution Commission, which the bill creates, and it will only cost me — and every other condo owner in the state — a $3 per year fee. What a bargain!

If I should need a hearing aid, House Bill 109 will protect me from ordering one through the mail. According to the state, only certain licensed people can evaluate my hearing and then sell me a device. And if I should want something other than that, well, they know better.

And we can’t forget predatory tow trucks, predatory pay-day lenders, predatory “overdraft”fees and predatory mortgage lenders. Who knew I was a victim of so many marauders in the Buckeye State?

Clearly, the government wants what’s best for me — and only they know what that is. So I guess I’ll stop trying to be responsible and educating myself about the things I should know in order to be responsible.

I’ll just stop worrying and love my government instead.

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