Tag Archives: Gardasil

Michelle Malkin on Perry, Gardasil , and a “Really, Really Stupid Attack on Palin”

by Whitney Pitcher

Some members of the conservative blogosphere have begun to grasp at bendy straws when it comes to Governor Palin’s spot on claims regarding Governor Perry’s crony capitalism and his horribly misplaced Gardasil vaccine mandate. One such blogger is noted Perry supporter, Bryan Preston. Michelle Malkin takes these strawmen builders to task for what she  calls a “really, really, stupid attack on Palin.” Enjoy!:

Former Hot Air alum and former Texas state GOP communications director Bryan Preston, now at Pajamas Media, notes that during the tenure of Sarah Palin (who rightly criticized the appearance of crony capitalism in the Perry/Gardasil debacle last night), Alaska took federal funds to expand access to Gardasil:

( Juneau, Alaska) ? The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced today that an increase in federal funding will make it possible for all Alaska girls ages 9 through 18 to receive Gardasil ®, the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, at no cost.

Preston writes:

This isn’t quite the same thing as mandating (and being overturned on, so it didn’t actually happen) a vaccination, but taking federal funds for Gardasil doesn’t quite square with Palin’s hot shots at Perry on Fox last night. I admire Sarah Palin quite a bit (and Bachmann too), but aligning herself with Bachmann’s precious bodily fluids gambit is a huge mistake on her part. Both of them are flaming their own credibility over an issue that, in the grand view of things, ought not to matter much. It hasn’t mattered much to some of the most conservative voters in America, over three gubernatorial elections running now. Both Palin and Bachmann are coming off as ill informed, unreasonable and desperate.

It “isn’t quite the same thing as mandating.”

Gee, no. Ya think?

It’s a freakingly obvious night and day difference — Perry’s MANDATE on families and the MANDATE on insurers going over the heads of the state legislature versus the Palin administration’s decision to accept federal subsidies to increase access to those who choose to take it. (Note: Gardasil is not and never has been mandated in the state of Alaska.)

Preston also objects to indirect costs imposed by the Palin administration’s program on taxpayers outside the state.

Newsflash: The Perry executive order would have ordered Texas health officials to use federal Medicaid funding to cover the vaccine for young women — a cost that would have been born by millions of taxpayers outside Texas.

As for the gobsmackingly ridiculous claim that this revelation about Palin makes her guilty of the crony capitalism Perry is marinated in, another flashback:

Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., responding to pressure from parents, pro-family organizations, and medical groups, announced on February 20 that it was immediately suspending its lobbying campaign to persuade state legislatures to mandate that adolescent girls receive the company’s vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cervical cancer as a requirement for school attendance.

A February 2 executive order by Texas Governor Rick Perry that made Texas the first state to require that schoolgirls as young as 11 get vaccinated with a three-dose regimen of Merck’s Gardasil before entering sixth grade had provoked a storm of outrage from pro-family groups.

A January 31 AP report that tied Merck & Co. to Women in Government, an advocacy group made up of female state legislators around the country, added fuel to the fire by revealing a blatant conflict of interest. The report observed that a top official from Merck’s vaccine division sits on Women in Government’s business council, and members of Women in Government have introduced many of the bills around the country that would mandate compulsory Gardasil vaccinations. Merck had also admitted donating an undisclosed amount of money to lobbyists promoting such legislation.

A follow-up report by AP’s Liz Austin Peterson on February 21 noted that Governor Perry’s chief of staff, Deirdre Delisi, met with Perry’s budget director and three members of his office for an “HPV Vaccine for Children Briefing” on October 16, the same day that Merck’s political action committee donated $5,000 to Perry’s campaign.

A spokesman for the governor, Robert Black, described the timing of the meeting and the Merck donation as a coincidence, but Cathie Adams, president of the Texas Eagle Forum, remains skeptical. “We have too many coincidences,” said Adams. “I think that the voters of Texas would find that very hard to swallow.”

Now, read this from the National Institute for Money in State Politics:

Among gubernatorial candidates who received contributions from Merck, Perry was second only to former California Gov. Gray Davis, who received $28,000.

Since the 2000 election cycle, the drug company has contributed $2.46 million to state-level candidates and party committees, doling their money out almost equally to both parties.

Democratic committees received just over $1 million and Republicans $1.4 million. Individuals employed by Merck gave an additional $2.5 million to state-level politics. Merck has helped finance races in forty states since the 2000 election cycle, when the Institute began collecting contribution data in all 50 states. Merck has focused intently on its home base, New Jersey, as well as giving in Florida, California and Pennsylvania. Combined, these four states have received more than $1 million from Merck, or 44 percent of the company’s total
contributions.

…At $360 for the three-shot Gardisal regimen, Merck could generate billions in sales if it is successful in its efforts to persuade the states to require the use of the vaccine.

MERCK CONTRIBUTIONS TO STATE POLITICS, 2000-2006
CYCLE TOTAL
2000 $550,894
2002 $764,126
2004 $641,082
2006* $504,250
TOTAL $2,460,352
* 2006 data collection is ongoing; totals may increase.

MERCK CONTRIBUTIONS BY STATE, 2000-2006*
STATE AMOUNT
New Jersey $317,600
Florida $256,000
California $251,439
Pennsylvania $249,775
Texas $158,143
Virginia $135,750
New York $118,025
Illinois $96,925
Ohio $93,570
Georgia $85,807
Missouri $57,500
West Virginia $52,250
North Carolina $48,000
Washington $47,850
Kansas $47,753
Arkansas $44,390
Louisiana $40,450
Kentucky $40,225
Alabama $36,000
Mississippi $31,700
New Mexico $31,300
Nevada $27,750
Oregon $27,500
Oklahoma $25,600
South Carolina $24,150
Utah $21,250
Indiana $17,000
Idaho $16,150
Maryland $13,650
Iowa $8,550
South Dakota $8,200
Colorado $8,100
Connecticut $7,250
Vermont $6,100
North Dakota $3,250
Nebraska $2,550
Delaware $1,350
New Hampshire $800
Maine $600
Montana $100
TOTAL $2,460,352

Note: Alaska does not appear on this list. It was never a lobbying target for Merck. Nor did Palin have an ex-chief of staff lobbying for Merck or a staffer’s mother-in-law serving as a state director of an advocacy group bankrolled by Merck to push legislatures across the country to put forward bills mandating the Gardasil vaccine for preteen girls.

Moreover, Palin is on record in 2008 e-mails expressing her general opposition to certain vaccine mandates.

It’s a pathetic and ill-informed act of desperation to try and turn the crony capitalism charge on Palin, which is a telling measure of how effective her voice is on this topic — and why so many would rather silence her.

***

As a sidenote, Perry lowballed the amount of money he took from Merck. See here.

And a final point: A friend points out that Perry supporters sabotage their own defense of Perry. If Perry was simply “erring on the side of life” and would simply have pursued the policy of increasing access to Gardasil in a different way, then he most certainly would have no objection to what happened in Alaska — e.g., making the vaccine available to people who wanted it without mandating it by acccepting existing federal dollars.

Read Malkin’s whole piece here.


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About That Gardasil Mandate “Opt-Out” Perry Is Touting

By Gary P Jackson

On Monday night Rick Perry faced an onslaught of scrutinty over his decision to usurp the Texas legislative process and order school girls to be injected with Gardasil. Besides questions of crony capitalism, the idea of usurping parents’ rights, and government overreach are major concerns.

Team Perry has been claiming there was an “opt-out” for the drug since this became an issue, almost immediately after Perry tried to shove this mandate down Texans’ throats.

Non-Texans have no idea how big of a concern Perry’s nanny-statism was when this Executive Order was written.

Texans don’t react well when Liberty and Freedom are in peril. Just ask this guy.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc. were incredibly concerned about the Gardasil mandate and the claimed “opt-out” provision. So concerned they issued this statement:

“Opting-Out” of HPV Vaccine WILL NOT WORK for Many in Texas

Governor Perry is misleading legislators and families in Texas by claiming that they will be able to “opt-out” of having their 6th grade daughter vaccinated with the vaccine for the sexually transmitted virus HPV. For many families currently, the exemption isn’t worth the piece of paper it is printed on. Besides the simple fact that parents should not have to get permission from the state to make informed consent medical decisions for their own children, here are four reasons why “opting-out” of state mandated vaccines doesn’t work for many families in Texas:

“Opt-out” or Conscientious Exemption to Vaccination Process is a Bureaucratic Nightmare

To get the exemption form, parents must first submit a written form to State Health Department in Austin which forces the disclosure of the child’s full name, birthdate, and mailing address. The Health Department takes those written requests and creates yet another form on which they print the child’s same personal information that the parent had to send to health department, and the Health Department sometimes takes weeks to mail out these forms inevitably disrupting the child’s school attendance. The Health Department only sends the forms by U.S. mail, and once the parent receives the forms, they must be notarized within 90 days of submitting them and then repeatedly resubmitted every 2 years even though there is no expiration set in statute.

[1] Because the Health Department further eroded parental rights by publishing more rules getting rid of provisional enrolment for exemptions, (families used to have 30 days at the beginning of school to get their paperwork in), now schools participate in aggressive misleading education campaigns touting “no shots – no school” while not informing families of the exemption or the instructions how to obtain it.

Private Schools Deny Admission

The Texas attorney general issued an opinion in April of 2006, ga0420, that states that private schools do not have to accept the conscience exemption to vaccination in Texas Law[2], and many private schools do not. For example, the Dallas Diocese for Catholic Schools policy number 5024 states, “Schools will comply with immunization requirements established by the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department. Conscientious objections/waivers are not accepted in schools of the Diocese.” [3] Every new vaccine mandate causes more children with valid legal exemptions to be denied their private school education.

Doctors Refuse Medical Care

Even though you may be able to get a piece of paper from the state health department affirming your right to refuse state mandated vaccines for your child, just try and find a doctor who will honor it! According to a recent study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 39% of pediatricians surveyed said they would throw kids out of practices who are not vaccinated. [4] PROVE has documented this rampant problem of doctors dismissing families utilizing a vaccine exemption in Texas to the legislature in previous sessions. Please review our report entitled “The Erosion of Public Trust & Informed Consent through Immunization Harassment, Discrimination and Coercion” prepared for the House Public Health Committee in 2005. [5]

Insurance Rates Rise and Accessibility Affected

Responsible parents who have secured health care coverage for their children will be forced to pay higher insurance rates whether they want the HPV vaccine or not. Even if you “opt-out” of the HPV vaccine mandate for Gardasil by Merck by securing a conscientious exemption waiver, there is no way for Texas parents to “opt-out” of the corresponding rise in their insurance premiums. § 1367.053. (a)

(2) of the Insurance Code REQUIRES that any vaccine required be law must be covered by insurance. [6] This first-dollar coverage requirement results in corresponding direct hiking of insurance premiums to meet costs, and for a vaccine as expensive as this one, an HPV vaccine mandate risks putting premiums for basic health care coverage out of reach financially for even more Texas families. Additionally, we have received complaints from families where insurance companies are harassing parents with letters and discriminating on coverage based on whether or not the child has had all their state mandated vaccines.

Read more here.

Rick Perry and his people can spin this anyway they want to, but the fact is, his Gardasil mandate was going to be almost impossible to “opt-out of because of Texas law and insurance regulations.

Many people have justified Perry’s mandate by saying states require kids to be vaccinated for all sorts of diseases. That’s a bogus argument.

The reason for mandated vaccinations, besides the obvious benefit to the person, is the safety of others. All of the diseases children receive mandated vaccinations for are contagious. You can’t “catch” cancer, which is what Gardasil supposedly prevents.

The fact is, Perry knew the Texas Legislature would have NEVER approved of mandating this drug, and in fact, they overrode his Executive Order.

One can speculate all day long as to why Perry was motivated to usurp the legislative process, but the fact is,. like all Statists, Perry thought that he, and only he, knew what was best for Texas, to hell with the representatives of the people.

We have someone like this in the White House now, we don’t need to send another one to replace him.

UPDATE

Welcome readers from MichelleMalkin.com

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Key Facts About Rick Perry’s Gardasil Mandate and Corrupt Crony Capitalism

By Gary P Jackson

Timothy P. Carney of the Washington Examiner pointed this out on Wednesday night after the Republican debate:

Governor Perry, by executive order, required all girls to get vaccinated against HPV, or get . He got beat up for that in the debate a bit earlier. A lot of the discussion involved parental rights. I wanted to emphasize two points.

1) It looks like a dirty example of crony capitalism and the revolving door. Perry’s former chief of staff, Mike Toomey, was a lobbyist for Merck, the manufacturer of that vaccine. Merck pushed hard for the mandate and stood to profit from it.

2) Mandating an HPV vaccine is not like mandating a mumps vaccine. As Michelle Malkin pointed out, most vaccine mandates involve protecting other people’s kids from communicable diseases that can be spread in the classroom. HPV cannot be spread in any normal classroom spreading.

Carney gets the ball rolling exposing just one of the many pay-for-play deals Rick Perry has going in Texas.

Mike Toomey, Perry’s former chief of staff was a lobbyist for Merck. Toomey’s mother-in-law Diane White-Delisi, a former Texas State Representative [mine, in fact] is now state director for Women in Government, another group that gets money from Merck. In fact, Women in Government has been called “Merck’s Trojon Horse” [something well be exploring further in an upcoming article]

Keeping it all in the family, White-Delisi’s daughter-in-law Deirdra Delisi was appointed to the Texas Transportation Commission by Governor Perry.

It gets even more interesting as Diane and Ted Delisi own Delisi Communications, a firm that lobby’s for ReachOut HealthCare America among others.

If anyone wants to put in a bit of time and check out the Web of Influence surrounding Rick Perry they’ll find he has plenty of ties to lobbyists and plenty of opportunities for his brand of pay-for-play.

From KBTX.com:

Merck is bankrolling efforts to pass laws in state legislatures across the country mandating it Gardasil vaccine for girls as young as 11 or 12. It doubled its lobbying budget in Texas and has funneled money through Women in Government, an advocacy group made up of female state legislators around the country.

Details of the order were not immediately available, but the governor’s office confirmed to The Associated Press that he was signing the order and he would comment Friday afternoon.

Perry has several ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company’s three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, his former chief of staff. His current chief of staff’s mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government.

Toomey was expected to be able to woo conservative legislators concerned about the requirement stepping on parent’s rights and about signaling tacit approval of sexual activity to young girls. Delisi, as head of the House public health committee, which likely would have considered legislation filed by a Democratic member, also would have helped ease conservative opposition.

Perry also received $6,000 from Merck’s political action committee during his re-election campaign.

It wasn’t immediately clear how long the order would last and whether the legislation was still necessary. However it could have been difficult to muster support from lawmakers who champion abstinence education and parents’ rights.

[ …. ]

Texas allows parents to opt out of inoculations by filing an affidavit stating that he or she objected to the vaccine for religious or philosophical reasons.

Even with such provisions, however, conservative groups say mandates take away parents’ rights to be the primary medical decision maker for their children.

Read more here.

The so called “opt-out” wasn’t going to be an easy thing, and why should parents be forced to go through the hassle? And as Carney points out, this isn’t like requiring kids to be vaccinated for smallpox or the measles. You can’t catch cancer.

This was a huge over-reach of government. Perry meddling in the business of Texas parents. Though Perry cries that he was only doing it “for the children” [a typical liberal excuse] all evidence points to Perry doing it for the money.

America doesn’t have time for the sort of politician that Rick Perry is. We have enough corruption in Washington already. No need to import any more in from Texas.

We can do better than Rick Perry. We MUST do better than Rick Perry.

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