When the Board of Health was repeatedly warned not to go beyond the proper boundaries of agency rulemaking, President Tim Starkey issued his own justification by citing an intra-agency vision statement which was made to sound like a constitutional or statutory authority.
OBH President, Tim Starkey and his colleagues were clearly and repeatedly told that they lack constitutional authority to write new restrictions that are not reflective of statutory law.
Starkey said, "Our task, by the board, is to protect the health of Oklahoma. Anyone have comments to that effect?"
Then Board member, Terry Gerard asked if the medical associations were urging for a pharmacist requirement. The new board member, Skillings, chimed in that a smoking ban should also be imposed.
An OpEd by David Van Risseghem, publisher
This assumed authority to restrict citizen behavior on the pretext that it's the 'task' of the board to protect everyone's health; is perhaps a core mindset that seems pervasive in the medical field. Moral busybodies often congratulate themselves for imposing behavioral restrictions on people... especially when they condescend or see the simple people as too ignorant or immoral to do the right thing.
Sometimes a policymaker will even congratulate the imposition as a truly 'prolife' act.
But the reality is that liberty is insulted by such meddling. It is NOT the task of the board of health to protect my health or yours. We each carry that responsibility. Further, it is not the task of Senator Ervin Yen to protect my young children. Parents carry that authority.
No, the govt. can at best be an assistant to help us where we consent to their aid. But this board of Health, and much of our state government is caught up in the intoxication of power. Power to control the behavior of others.
It is a pervasive smugness that drives them and affirms them. This is true also in;
The self-declared 'authority of the OBH
Oklahoma State Board of Health Oklahoma's public health authority rests with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, which is responsible for protecting and promoting the health of the citizens of Oklahoma by preventing disease and injury and assuring conditions by which Oklahomans can be healthy.
This lofty vision statement was never a constitutional language or statutory mandate. It was simply made up by the Board of Health for their own sense of identity. We contacted legislative aids and staffers at the Dept. of Health to confirm our suspicions and we did indeed get confirmation that the statement was just a lofty pontification of agency importance.
But when it's infused with a 'god-complex' of practicing physicians; or prophetic anointing of the moralist do-gooders, the cause of fundamental and patriotic liberty is assassinated on the spot.