Saved by the Nanny State!

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Yesterday’s Globe brought news of an initiative by the City of Boston to move folks out of emergency rooms and into Community Health Centers, for treatment of non-acute conditions. That’s a laudable goal, but it brings to mind the inconsistency of the city’s full-throated opposition to another group of non-acute healthcare providers just a few years back.

Back in 2008, the mayor warned of dire consequences, saying that permitting these health care providers to operate “jeopardizes patient safety” and that they “will seriously compromise quality of care and hygiene.” As a result, Boston didn’t get any MinuteClinics.

Lots of other Massachusetts communities (including Newton, Braintree, Quincy, Cambridge, and Medford) have them. Did you miss the stories about the utter collapse of the health care system in those cities and towns? Yep, I did too.

As a parent and a consumer, I’d like to have a convenient option for repetitive, low acuity health care needs (think: ear infections, strep tests, pink eye). And I think I’m mature enough to decide the appropriate venue for care. Instead, the mayor decided for me.

Crossposted at Boston Daily.