Critical Thinking Sample Passages and Items (Information from ) Sample Passage 1 Senator Favor proposed a bill in the state legislature that would allow pharmacists to prescribe medications for minor illnesses, without authorization from a physician (i.e., a "prescription"). In support of her proposal, Favor argued: Doctors have had a monopoly on authorizing the use of prescription medicines for too long. This has caused consumers of this state to incur unnecessary expense for their minor ailments. Often, physicians will require patients with minor complaints to go through an expensive office visit before the physician will authorize the purchase of the most effective medicines available to the sick. Consumers are tired of paying for these unnecessary visits. At a recent political rally in Johnson County, I spoke to a number of my constituents and a majority of them confirmed my belief that this burdensome, expensive, and unnecessary practice is widespread in our state. One man with whom I spoke said that his doctor required him to spend $80 on an office visit for an uncommon skin problem which he discovered could be cured with a $2 tube of prescription cortisone lotion. Anyone who has had to wait in a crowded doctor's office recently will be all-too-familiar with the "routine": after an hour in the lobby and a half-hour in the examining room, a physician rushes in, takes a quick look at you, glances at your chart and writes out a prescription. To keep up with the dizzying pace of "health care," physicians rely more and more upon prescriptions, and less and less upon careful examination, inquiry, and bedside manner. Physicians make too much money for the services they render. If "fast food" health care is all we are offered, we might as well get it at a good price. This bill, if passed into law, would greatly decrease unnecessary medical expenses and provide relief to the sick: people who need all the help they can get in these trying economic times. I urge you to vote for this bill. After Senator Favor's speech, Senator Counter stood to present an opposing position, stating: Senator Favor does a great injustice to the physicians of this state in generalizing from her own health care experiences. If physicians' offices are crowded, they are crowded for reasons that are different from those suggested by Senator Favor. With high operating costs, difficulties in collecting medical bills, and exponential increases in the costs of malpractice insurance, physicians are lucky to keep their heads above water. In order to
do so, they must make their practices more efficient, relying upon nurses and laboratories to do some of the patient screening.