Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Yet Another Reason Real ID Is A Bad Idea

It won't be long before other bureaucrats dream up other situations in which a Real ID might be required. In fact, it's already happened--no law as of yet, just some wondering-out-loud speculation by some bureaucrat at the Department of Homeland Security.

A top homeland security policy maker suggests that the recently released mandates for a de-facto national I.D. card could help stop meth labs, if the government required that pharmacy's demand that cold medicine buyers show their REAL ID. (emphasis added)

It makes sense to me. I already have to show my driver's license and fill out a log book with my name, address, and phone number in order to buy Sudafed from my grocery store. (I don't have to do that much to get Brendan insulin or needles, by the way.) I can see that a Real ID would eventually be required for such purchases, because there is a War on Drugs going on doncha know, and since many will already have that Real ID (now with Extra Security Enhancements!), why not make that a requirement to buy a dangerous substance like Sudafed in minute amounts? (I mean really, I'm honestly surprised that they haven't just put it back on the Controlled Substance list already. Making it available only by prescription would actually be easier and less of a time and privacy burden for me to purchase it. Oh wait--I think I just answered my own question.)

But aren't there other drugs out there that can be misused? Yes! Yes, there are! There is already talk by the FDA to take Benadryl and other cold medications away from children younger than 6. It is already the case that no child under the age of 2 can take cold medications anymore in this country (without a prescription, that is). Shortly, I expect to be interrogated by the grocery clerk as to the ages of my children whenever I purchase a bottle of Benadryl.

What about other drugs? Too much Tylenol can put you on a liver donor list literally overnight. Can insulin be misused? Uh, yes. What about Epi-pens? Have you seen that needle? What about any drug delivered with a needle? Are we all potential heroin addicts? How does that pharmacist know?

And with so many drugs that need fighting (we are fighting the Drugs, you know, not the people who misuse them, otherwise it would be called the War on Those People Who Misuse Drugs), why not tie in that extra wonderful information that you submit in order to get a Real ID? Why not pre-criminalize sick people? It's sooooo much easier to run a police state that way.

The author of the WIRED article I noted above illustrates my concerns very well:

The Cato Institutes's Jim Harper interprets Baker's statement to mean a REAL ID would be necessary for any prescription. I don't see that in the report on Baker's remark, but certainly the F in FDA stands for Federal. The feds probably could do this, but from a health standpoint it would be a nightmare. No REAL ID, no birth control, no antibiotics, no insulin. How many dead Americans are these rules going to be worth?

Like insulin and antibiotics aren't already going to be tougher to get hold of after we get "universal" healthcare in this country. (And I also know that we will have no real choice about whether to get a Real ID or not.)

Sure, the Real ID has not been linked to prescription or over-the-counter purchases just yet. But it's not a very difficult to envision a time in the near future when it will be, particularly when DHS officials are already dreaming out loud. And there are so many more possibilities for the Feds to consider--renting cars, renting a hotel room, going to Disney World, buying a house. This has only just started.


Mrs. C said...

Have blogged a coupla sentences and linked to your post. :]

Rational Jenn said...

Thank you muchly! :o)

MLO said...

Actually, in any state where you must show either a state ID or driver's license to get a Schedule 3 drug prescription, it will. Or to buy allergy medication, for that matter.