Why has playing by the rules become so darned difficult?

Craig Hall, Publisher
Craig Hall, Publisher

It should be easy, this whole playing by the rules thing. Especially since the rules are written in “our best interest.” At least that what they tell me. Who’s they, you ask? The only people who’ve been proven to know what’s best for us: our elected leaders and their bureaucrat henchmen.

I know a lot of things set me off, but few nearly as much as the silliness about everyday drugs and prescriptions.

Here’s the latest muckfest I have to deal with because I play by the rules. Our youngest has allergy related asthma, so one of the things we need to have for her is an emergency inhaler in case she has trouble breathing. So after her diagnosis several years ago, we’ve kept a prescription with our doctor for the inhaler. Her episodes happen rarely, maybe a few times a year, but we’ve taught her to keep her inhaler with her just in case.

So what’s the problem? Well, she needs to carry her inhaler to school. And because it must be impossible for her records to travel school to school because our local schools are underfunded, we have to fill out the same paperwork year after year after year for our daughter to have “permission” to put an inhaler in her backpack. A simple inhaler she knows how and when to use also knows isn’t a toy. That’s pretty innocuous in terms of danger to any other student and that she’s carried to school for the past three years. Yup, you need permission for that. EVERY YEAR.

And not just any permission. First we need a doctor’s note that my daughter understands everything about a simple inhaler I’ve mentioned above. And what does that require? Well if I’m lucky, just two trips to the doctor’s office to drop off the form one day and pick it up on another day when it’s filled out. But that’s not what happens. You see, I’m probably going to have to set up an appointment with the doctor’s office because the doctor needs to see our daughter to fill out this form after making sure things haven’t changed.

Well, things haven’t changed. If they had, we’d have gone to the doctor’s office for an appointment. But if we did that, how could our local school district and government bureaucrats create cottage medical industries to fund our overburdened and expensive health care system? What do I mean? Well, for every kid that needs prescriptions at school, they have to fill out these forms that require a visit to the doctor’s office. So let’s multiply the number of kids on meds in our schools by the amount a visit to the doc costs and then add on some special test the doc thinks they should run. I’d hazard to say this little scheme costs our valley millions each year.

Yeah, but insurance pays it. Well, who pays for insurance? And if you have no insurance, who pays for the uninsured when they can’t? The answer is the same: The insured pay all of it. So it’s no wonder the schools and doctors and bureaucracy all say, “Well, we’ve determined that everyone should see a doctor once a year for good health.” Well of course you all do, there’s a lot of money in it. And when some of us think we should only see the doctor when we need to, you create scenarios like the one my daughter and I have to go through to make us go see them … and then the cash rolls in. Not for us, cash and time are things we have too much of so, therefore, we should give up more of it to the system’s devices.

We’ve harmed no one with our inhaler. We’ve not been arrested for using our inhaler properly. As a matter of fact, on the rare few occasions we’ve used the inhaler, we’ve used it as instructed and it worked as it was supposed to work. Seems like it should be a no-brainer that kids should be able to carry such a handy, non-threatening, healthy device like it’s a wallet or ID. 

Well, according to our schools: Absolutely not. They don’t know if you ’re qualified. They don’t know if they can trust you with such a thing on campus. Therefore, you — and your parent — must sign a contract. Let’s forget the idiocy that says an 11-year-old can’t legally sign a contract. The contract states that our daughter knows how to use the medication, will use it in a responsible way, that she won’t let other students use it (is there a stealing other kids’ inhaler sucking epidemic I don’t know about?) and if she fails in any of these areas she could have her privilege revoked and we, as parents could be liable for something while the school district can’t be held accountable for anything.

This is brought to you by the Colorado School Children’s Asthma and Anaphylaxis Health Management Act. Now you know it takes a politician and a huge bureaucracy to create such a boondoggle.

But hey, it makes money for some and takes away responsibility for others, all while making life that much harder for those of us who play by the rules.

All because some kids have trouble breathing now and then. We have real drug problems in our schools. Inhalers aren’t one of them.