I presume that my readers expect that I will have something to say about the “new healthcare bill” that passed on March 22, 2010.

I have my opinions, as does just about everyone else. Unfortunately, like everyone else, I don’t have much in the way of fact. That means my opinion is as valid as anyone’s.

But, what would be the point in pontificating about the same thing that everyone is already frantic about? Without facts, it is futile to argue the merits of one opinion or another.

Regardless of how I feel about healthcare legislation, one issue is crucial and doesn’t seem to be part of the bill; the fact that we are collectively consuming too many drugs – both intentionally as prescriptions, as unintentionally as part of the food we consume and the chemicals we use in our homes.

Since the early 1970s, average prescription drug use has risen from three drugs to over ten. In addition to the health consequences, these drugs are expensive. While the politicians argue about lowering health costs, the drug pushers and their cronies are forcing us to take more and more at higher and higher cost. The mere fact that 30 million additional people will have some form of health coverage does not translate into better care or lower costs if our doctors insist on over-prescribing toxic and costly drugs.

Orders will, however, continue to be written at alarming rates until as consumers, we decide that we’ve had enough. I once asked a local pediatrician why he wrote for so many antibiotic prescriptions – over and over for the same children. He told me that if he did not write the orders, the mothers would find a different doctor. He agreed with me that most of the children did not need antibiotics. Instead of doing the best thing for their health, he was primarily concerned with the success of his business. That was common at that time – and it’s even worse today.

Patients expect that their doctors will write prescriptions for drugs. The drug companies are eager to offer more and more things to prescribe and the doctors are willing accomplices when it comes to ordering. One thing consumers must know and remember; by law, neither doctors nor drug makers can be held liable for any negative effects suffered because of a drug or its interaction with other drugs. This holds true when the doctor orders drugs according to the information supplied to them by the drug sellers.

My solution is simple. Stop using drugs – especially if you are now using more than five.

Don’t stop on your own, but insist that your doctor work with you to help you get off some of the ones you’re already taking.

Stay healthy. Stay out of the healthcare system.