Tag Archives: mandates

Flashback: Newt’s Passionate Support of Mandated Health Care Insurance, RomneyCare

By Gary P Jackson

I’ve noticed something about Newt Gingrich’s supporters. I’ve noticed a lot of things really. Like Ron Paul supporters they believe Newt can do no wrong, and every fact about his Big Government socialist ways is a lie.

Of course, like most Conservatives, they also think Mitt Romney is the Great Satan™!

This is frustrating to me, and I don’t support Mitt Romney in the slightest. Most people’s biggest problem with Mitt is RomneyCare. Sadly, Newt’s supporters are so mesmerized by his nonsense, they fail to realize NewtCare is just RomneyCare with a twist.

When you break both NewtCare and RomneyCare down to their core, what they really are is government mandated health care. The government telling you that you must have health insurance, or else.

One of the few differences in Newt prattles on about posting a bond of say $100,000 to $150,000.

Newt has been pushing government mandated health care as long, if not longer than Mitt Romney. The only reason it hasn’t much mattered [until now] is Newt was just a well paid shill [$37 million from Big Pharma and Big Insurance] rather than a poor, corrupt, government official.

You can bet your ass if Newt had been in office, we’d have NewtCare, just as surely as we have ObamaCare now.

Remember, Newt was the front man for President George W Bush’s Medicare Part D bill.

There’s tons of video of Newt pushing mandates. Heck, he was shilling for government mandated health care insurance in May of 2011!

Here’s vintage Newt, circa 2008, telling you it’s “immoral” for you not to have insurance.

How many times do you have to hear Newt, in his own words, tell you he supports MANDATED HEALTH CARE INSURANCE for it to sink in?

I think it’s immoral for a government to force you to buy anything, just because you exist.

Health insurance isn’t like automobile insurance. You aren’t forced to own an automobile. In fact, driving is not even a right. It’s a privilege. You earn the privilege to drive by passing proficiency tests, and obtaining a license.

Besides, mandated car insurance is only liability, not full coverage. You are only mandated to maintain liability insurance to protect other drivers and property owners for damages you may cause them. You are not required by law to protect yourself. Though lenders do make having full coverage insurance a requirement for getting a loan.But again, that is to protect them, not you.

Driving is a voluntary act. The government doesn’t force you to drive.

On the other hand, government mandated health care forces you to buy a product, simply because you exist, and the only alternative is to die.

What’s really pathetic, is now that Newt is running for president, he has been attacking Mitt Romney over RomneyCare. Back in 2006, Newt praised RomneyCare. And why not, it’s what Newt had been pushing for years, and still pushes!

From the Wall Street Journal: [emphasis mine]

Newt Gingrich voiced enthusiasm for Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health-care law when it was passed five years ago, the same plan he has been denouncing over the past few months as he campaigned for the Republican presidential nomination.

The health bill that Governor Romney signed into law this month has tremendous potential to effect major change in the American health system,” said an April 2006 newsletter published by Mr. Gingrich’s former consulting company, the Center for Health Transformation.

The two-page “Newt Notes” analysis, found online by The Wall Street Journal even though it no longer appears on the center’s website, continued: “We agree entirely with Governor Romney and Massachusetts legislators that our goal should be 100% insurance coverage for all Americans.“

The earlier bullish comments about the Romney health-care plan are another potential embarrassment for Mr. Gingrich, who is leading Mr. Romney in most national polls for the GOP nomination. But with a week to go before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses,

Mr. Gingrich has slipped to third place in that state behind Texas Rep. Ron Paul and Mr. Romney. On other issues including climate change and mortgage giant Freddie Mac, Mr. Gingrich has struggled to reconcile his stance as a conservative with his long history of policy positions that sometimes run counter to that.

Oh, and how does Team Gingrich respond? They go for the “Ron Paul defense,” claiming Newt didn’t actually write the newsletter. How pathetic.

Mr. Hammond said the Newt Notes essay wasn’t written by Mr. Gingrich himself. The Journal was able to view a copy using a web search engine that archives old and even deleted versions of Web pages.

You can read Newt’s entire newsletter heaping mountains of praise in RomneyCare here.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you Newt isn’t a sleazy opportunist, who just tells his followers what they want to hear. Ever.

Newt is just as much for RomneyCare as any lefty would be. He’s patently dishonest when he attacks Mitt Romney, and so are his supporters.

I wrote a while back that even though I’m not a Romney supporter, and have many problems with him, I find myself wanting to defend him more and more. Anything Romney can be accused of, and I do mean anything, Newt supports the same thing, and has likely had more influence getting it done.

In other words, no matter how many people tell you different, Newt is worse than Mitt Romney in every single way.

While I think RomneyCare was stupid, it was also constitutional, as things like this are, and should be, left to the states. Of course, just because you CAN do something, it doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

NewtCare, FEDERALLY mandated health care insurance, would NOT be constitutional, and is a direct assault on Liberty and Freedom. If the federal government can force you to buy health care insurance, they can literally force you to buy anything. I think most of our readers understand the concept of a slippery slope, of the camel’s nose under the tent.

Oh, and for the record, I think RomneyCare is a direct assault on Liberty and Freedom too, but at least you can pack up and move to another state that won’t destroy your Freedoms. Under NewtCare, just like ObamaCare, you must leave the country to escape it.

Somehow Conservatives have become convinced Mitt is the Great Satan™ and must be vanquished at all costs, even if they sit the election out and hand it to Obama.

Friends, there are far worse outcomes than a President Romney. A President Gingrich would top that list, a list that includes a second term for President Obama.

Newt Gingrich is a corrupt, lying Big Government “progressive” who can never be trusted.

You might want to check out Government Mandates: Newt Gingrich and the Art of the Con Explained for more information on how you are being conned by Newt. This includes video of Newt from 2005 strongly pushing, you guessed it, government mandated health care insurance.

There’s also a stern warning from Ronald Reagan about guys like Newt Gingrich.

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Government Mandates: Newt Gingrich and the Art of the Con Explained

Now there are about 300 pages that are pretty good, a little over 10 percent, but they should be part of the replace document.

~ Newt Gingrich on ObamaCare

A good con always has an element of the truth. It’s essential. Not only does it make the con easier to pull off, even the best of con men can only lie so much without giving themselves away.

When I wrote that Newt Gingrich was more dangerous than the current occupant of the White House [and that I could prove it] I took readers down memory lane, pointing to all of the radical “progressive” votes and positions Newt has taken since 1979, many he still holds today. But my main focus was Newt’s incredible skill as a con man.

Newt is absolutely one of the best we’ve ever seen. This cat can look you in the eye, tell you his position on a particular issue, which is normally far left of mainstream America, then convince you that you didn’t just hear what you just heard.

This is a man who, when news came out he had been paid somewhere around $1.8 million from the corrupt Freddie Mac organization, was able to convince many of his followers that it was for “history lessons!” [and do it with a straight face]

One of the biggest cons Newt is pulling, is his on going effort to make people think he doesn’t support pretty much everything included in ObamaCare.

Newt constantly says he doesn’t support the individual mandate “in ObamaCare” and this is the truth. Newt does not support the individual mandate in ObamaCare but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t support the individual mandate!

This is how smart Newt is. And make no mistake, Newt is highly intelligent. Newt knows that he can ramble on and on about the individual mandate in ObamaCare and only the most observant, only those who actually know Newt’s real position on the matter will call BS. The average voter just hears Newt is opposed to individual mandates, and moves on.

Worse than that, after hearing Newt doesn’t support the individual mandate [in ObamaCare] when presented with the facts that Newt actually DOES support individual mandates, as long as it’s in HIS plan, victims of Newt’s con get angry, and will often call you a liar. Or they go into a long explanation telling you that Newt gave a long explanation about it all.

Newt can talk longer, and say less, than anyone in politics today.

Even when shown video proof of Newt supporting individual mandates on many occasions, including as late as May of this year, victims of Newt’s con will tell you that you are wrong.

That’s how good Newt is, and why he must never be allowed back in elected office.

Newt absolutely supports individual mandates. Newt teamed up with Hillary Clinton back in 2005, not only pushing for government mandated health insurance, but showering Hillary with praise in the process.

Now I think Newt is a true believer, just as he is in the man-made global warming hoax. That said, the $37 million he has been paid by various drug and insurance companies, all with a keen interest in seeing mandated health care insurance become law, wasn’t for “history lessons!”

Newt says he’s against a “single payer system” of health care. This is likely true, at least as I and many others think of single pay systems, which generally means government run health care, where all of the doctors, nurses, etc. are employees of the government, and the government owns all of the hospitals and controls all of the health care.

The government determines who gets care, and at what level. Those death panels Sarah Palin pointed out, the panels of government drones who determine who gets life saving care, and who is deemed “expendable.” Come to mind.

While continuing my research on Newt, I came across yet more evidence of the con.

Talking Points Memo notes that Newt claims he doesn’t want a single payer system, but champions his mandates as a “300 million payer system.” Newt is very good with words, and this sort of seemingly off the cuff, throwaway line, is just another intricate part of the con.

Newt understands that Americans fear government controlled heath care, and rightly so. He also knows that when most people hear “single payer” they think government controlled health care. So, in one supposed throwaway line, Newt can say he’s against government run health care, while still supporting individual mandates, and get away with it! The only thing people hear is he doesn’t support government run health care.

This is brilliant. I mean absolutely brilliant.

The more you study it, you can’t help but realize what an elegant con this is. If Newt was using his skills for good, rather than evil, one could really admire the skill in which Newt is pulling this off!

And before anyone goes off, just let me remind you, government mandates of this kind ARE evil. They are also immoral, and unconstitutional. Government mandates, such as those Newt is supporting, have already been ruled unconstitutional in the lower courts. We’re only waiting on the Supreme Court to make the final call.

As a matter of fact, Judge Roger Vinson ruled ObamaCare unconstitutional, based on the mandates, in January of this year, five full months BEFORE Newt was last giving his complete support for … individual mandates!

For such a supposed brilliant man, you’d think he’d have backed away from such a high profile issue.

Not sure if he’s just earning that $37 million, or if he’s such a true believer, he doesn’t care what the courts, or the Constitution, say. With his record of supporting radical “progressive” policies, who the hell can be sure what is true. Hey, it may be a bit of both.

From TPM:

Newt Gingrich has attacked Mitt Romney on the issue of the individual health insurance mandate, while chalking up his own past support for the idea as an indiscretion in the 1990’s. But as it turns out, those 1990’s stretch all the way to 2005 — and beyond, to 2008 — when Gingrich gave as passionate an explanation of the mandate idea as any current supporter could ever muster.

On his own web site, Gingrich’s campaign explains: “In the 1990s, Newt and many other conservatives, such as the Heritage Foundation, proposed a mandate to purchase health insurance as the alternative to Hillarycare. However, the problems outlined above caused Newt to come to the principled conclusion that a mandate to purchase health insurance was unconstitutional, unworkable and counterproductive to lowering the cost of healthcare.

However, in a YouTube video flagged by Health Care for America Now, as recently as 2005, well beyond the 1990s, Newt was vociferously championing the mandate — just a few years before Democrats took it up, and in the process reversing pretty much all past support for it among some Republicans.

At a forum in 2005, alongside then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and former Sen. John Breaux (D-LA), Gingrich explained the tradeoffs that both the right and the left would have to make in health care: For the right, some transfer of wealth is involved in providing health care for the working poor, the disabled, and other groups. And for the left, individuals should still have control over their health care, rather than total government management.

I mean, I am very opposed to a single-payer system — but I’m actually in favor of a 300 million-payer system. Because one of my conclusions in the last six years, and founding the Center for Health Transformation, and looking at the whole system is, unless you have a hundred percent coverage, you can’t have the right preventive care, and you can’t have a rational system, because the cost-shifts are so irrational, and create second-order problems.

This led Gingrich to a few conclusions of how to implement such a system: Convert Medicaid into a health insurance voucher system as it applies to the working poor (on the rationale that the creation of food-stamps do not involve the government running its own grocery stores); Create very large risk pools for individuals to purchase insurance (i.e., exchanges); and minimize insurance companies from cherry-picking customers.

I know I risk not sounding as right-wing as I should, to fit the billing,” Newt said at one point, which did indeed trigger some audience laughs.

Notice Newt actually takes a shot at the “right wing” here. A con man enjoys the con, he revels in the lie. He will often take great pleasure in actually letting his victims know they are being conned, without actually telling them.

It’s perverted, a sickness. Interesting to watch, and even admire, but a con man like Newt is dangerous if ever put in a position of power.

If listen to what Newt is saying, and the manner in which he says it, he comes off as reasonable and confident. He uses praises like “principled conclusion” to declare his dislike of mandates in HillaryCare. Newt goes so far to call these mandates “unconstitutional, unworkable and counterproductive to lowering the cost of healthcare,” While at the very same time pushing …. you guessed it …. INDIVIDUAL MANDATES!

You know those movies where you almost find yourself admiring the bad guy, the crook?

Folks, individual mandates are individual mandates. It doesn’t matter which “progressive” is trying to shove them down your throat. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Newt Gingrich all want the same end result. They all want to force you to do something.

Remember the key words from Newt though:

…. unless you have a hundred percent coverage, you can’t have the right preventive care, and you can’t have a rational system, because the cost-shifts are so irrational, and create second-order problems.

Note the words “rational” and “irrational” to make his case FOR the individual mandate.

Who wouldn’t think it wasn’t irrational to propose a system to cover every American, that didn’t FORCE every American to pay into it. A Big Government scheme like this can ONLY work if everyone is forced to participate!

Now in a FREE society, with market driven services, including health care, one has the right to choose if they want to purchase any product, or not, including health insurance.

In a society that places a premium on individual Freedom and Liberty [like ours] we also realize the need for personal responsibility. In other words, its up to you. Of course, we are a compassionate society, so just because someone decides they have better uses for their money, than having insurance in the event they have major health issues, we don’t just turn our backs on them.

Though Newt claims to be against single payer, he is most definitely NOT against government run health care. In fact, he’s looking to “tranform” the system we have now. Even though Newt might not want to see the government completely take over health care, i.e. own the hospitals and pay the staff, he is very much advocating government control the industry.

Here’s Newt in the video we’re discussing:

Notice that right off the bat Newt uses the phrase “transfer of funds.” Certainly more articulate than Obama and his commie buddies shouting “share the wealth!” But it means the same.

Folks we are watching one of our nation’s greatest con artists practicing his craft with precision and even grace!

Newt Gingrich is giving a full throated support of individual mandates and government controlled health care, while denouncing the other guy’s plan for individual mandates and government controlled health care!

Again, it would be a beautiful thing, if it wasn’t so downright evil!

Newt can look you in the eye and tell you that he doesn’t support the individual mandates in HillaryCare and ObamaCare, and he’ll be telling you the truth.

It’s important for him to tell you this, and even believe it himself, or the con wouldn’t work. As good as he is, he’d give himself away, even to those who don’t really pay attention to exactly what he is saying.

On the other hand, while he’s denouncing the other guys, his on plan produces almost identical results. HillaryCare, ObamaCare, and NewtCare all end up with the federal government controlling you and your health care. All three plans DEMAND that you purchase insurance, or risk penalties. All three take away personal Liberty and Freedom.

We do need some health care reforms in this country.

Common sense reforms.

Things like law suit reform, that shuts down the ambulance chasing lawyers. This is a huge problem that drives the cost of health care through the roof. Doctors are forced either pay outrageous malpractice insurance premiums, or quit. Many unnecessary tests are run, as a bit of CYA for the doctors who remain.

One of the few things Rick Perry got right in Texas was championing law suit reform.

Before major reforms, Texas was home base to all of the ambulance chasing lawyers, and the entire system was out of control.

Now all of the ambulance chasers have moved on to friendlier ground, and almost 10,000 doctors have moved to Texas seeking refuge from law suit happy attorneys. Our health care is world class, and doctors are free to practice medicine without having to practice CYA medicine as well.

There are other factors, like the 10s of millions of illegal aliens who receive free health care, often by showing up in emergency rooms, where hospitals are required to treat them, regardless of ability to pay.

A common sense solution to our illegal alien problem would go a long way toward reducing the costs of medical care in our country. We have a moral obligation to treat those who need life saving treatment, whether they are here legally or not. Fixing the illegal problem is essential.

It is my great hope that readers will take this look into how Newt cons the American people, and apply it to his other positions.

Newt really is a brilliant man, when it comes to supporting radical “progressive” ideas, while claiming he does not. He may be the very best we’ve ever seen. But in the end, a con man is still a con man.

Newt is a con man, a liar, and a highly corrupt influence peddler who has been paid 10s of millions of dollars for his efforts. He is the exact sort of life long political insider Conservatives are trying to drive from politics forever.

And with Newt, we better be successful too!

A reminder of what Ronald Reagan said of people like Newt:

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May 15, 2011: Newt Gingrich Supports Individual Mandate Would Force ALL Americans to Have Insurance

By Gary P Jackson

Here a bit of video from May of this year. The video starts off with a flashback to 1993 when Newt was all for individual mandates, then MSNBC host David Gregory talks to him about his beliefs today. Newt tends to side with Mitt Romney on many things.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

What’s striking is how comfortable Newt is with rattling off left wing talking points, like comparing health insurance to automobile insurance. That Gingrich doesn’t understand the difference between mandating automobile insurance, and health insurance really tells you all you need to know. If he truly thinks the two are the same, and isn’t just pandering to some group, then this man is too stupid, and two dangerous to be put in any elected office.

Driving an automobile is a privilege, not a right. One has to take a test and earn a license before they can drive. Certain driving violations can also cause you to lose your driving privileges. Requiring a driver to have a minimum amount of liability insurance isn’t about protecting the driver, or his automobile, but protecting other drivers and their property.

You have a choice as to whether you want to drive, and accept the responsibilities that come with it. No one forces you to drive. It’s completely voluntary.

Mandating health care is a different story. You’re forced to buy health care simply because you are alive.

The case has been made that if the government can force you to buy health care, they can force you to buy anything. I mean anything. They can force you to buy a certain brand of automobile, corn flakes, or toothpaste. Once you open the door, everything is fair game.

One only has to look at the RomneyCare fiasco to see the disaster that Newt is supporting is.

Newt talks about forcing Americans to either have insurance, put up some sort of cash bond, or otherwise prove they are protected. Gregory asks Newt if that isn’t a mandate, Newt answers “it’s a variation of it.” He also says he won’t use RomneyCare against Mitt. How can he, he’s advocating the same thing.

You listen to Newt and you realize just exactly what he is, another Big Government Statist, a liberal “Republican” con man. He claims he’s giving the American people a choice, but he’s not. In the end he’s forcing people to do something that Conservatives know is unconstitutional. That’s the basis for all of the lawsuits against ObamaCare. The individual mandate is unconstitutional. Newt doesn’t seem to think so.

The other troubling thing about Newt is once again, he’s on the wrong side. At the exact moment Conservatives are fighting ObamaCare with all their might, Newt is giving aid and comfort to the left, and supporting the very thing Conservatives are against.

I’m not defending Mitt Romney, because he’s a Big Government liberal as well, but it’s curious that Conservatives hammer Mitt so hard, when an objective look at Newt’s history, both in and out of office, shows Newt is 10 times worse than Romney!

With Romney you get kind of a hit and miss when it comes to supporting Conservative ideas over liberal. Not so with Newt. If you really look at his record, he supports every left wing idea that comes along.

In Newt’s world left wing ideas, Big Government, central control is all good, as long as HE is in charge. Newt seems to think there’s some sort of “Conservative” way to have Big Government. There isn’t.

There are a lot of choices for president, and yeah, all of them have flaws, but only Newt Gingrich is a champion of Big Government at every turn. Newt is very much a con man, and has a lot of Conservatives fooled. Newt is very good at speaking and debating. He knows the language of Conservatives. The problem is, his speeches don’t match up to reality. The reality of Newt Gingrich.

In reality Newt is a life long politician, and a member of the Republican Establishment™. He’s a Big Government liberal. He’s mixed up in all sorts of schemes, and has lobbied for some of the very people Conservatives want to stop. He claims it’s not lobbying, it’s “consulting.” He must believe Conservatives are stupid. We aren’t.

Newt Gingrich is a technocrat, and a technocrat is just a Marxist in denial. Newt would love nothing more than to play puppet master and control every facet of your life. As we’ve learned he’s as big of a narcissist as Barack Obama. That’s a dangerous thing. Give a man like Newt, or Obama, power and you are in for big trouble.

Newt Gingrich is the poster child for sort we are trying to run out of politics forever.

America cannot put a man like Newt Gingrich in power. Ever.

Let’s remember what Ronald Reagan had to say about men like Newt and Socialized Medicine.

Not socialized medicine you say?

Newt being able to force you to buy anything, including, health insurance, would have the same effect.

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Fundraising: Mitt Romney-Barack Obama Lead All In Money From Health Insurance Lobby

By Gary P Jackson

Not a surprise. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama both created situations that can potentially be incredibly profitable to insurance providers. Forcing people to buy insurance, with the government picking up the tab for those who can’t afford it, means big bucks for the providers.

The campaign cash will flow to candidates who the insurance lobby knows won’t upset the apple cart.

Crony capitalism.

From Open Secrets:

As of June 30, the date of the most recent campaign finance reports, Romney edges out Obama in terms of money raised, $43,750 versus $42,675, the Center’s analysis indicates.

Both men have favored health care policies that include an individual mandate for people to purchase private insurance plans. Romney did so as governor of Massachusetts, and Obama did so as part of the health care reform package he signed into law last year — a package that did not include a public insurance option to compete against private plans, as many liberals hoped it would.

Such mandates are supported by the insurance industry, which stand to benefit from increased customers as well as from government subsidies that help enroll people who could not otherwise afford insurance.

According to the report, Rick Perry’s team hasn’t filed their campaign finance reports yet, but there are strong ties between Perry and the Texas health care lobby.

Read more here.

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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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The Glaring Differences Between Palin & Perry

By Stacy Drake

After his announcement last weekend, Rick Perry’s record has come under considerable scrutiny from the media and the blogs. One of the most notable items of discussion has been about an executive order that Perry signed, mandating young girls to receive the HPV vaccine known as Gardasil. It was so controversial that the Texas State Legislature stepped in and repealed the law just weeks after Perry had pushed it through.

Tuesday evening, Michelle Malkin published a very detailed column about Perry’s Gardasil mandate. She wrote:

In February 2007, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a shocking executive order forcing every sixth-grade girl to submit to a three-jab regimen of the Gardasil vaccine. He also forced state health officials to make the vaccine available “free” to girls ages 9 to 18. The drug, promoted by manufacturer Merck as an effective shield against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) and genital warts, as well as cervical cancer, had only been approved by the Food and Drug Administration eight months prior to Perry’s edict.

Gardasil’s wear-off time and long-term side effects have yet to be determined. “Serious questions” remain about its “overall effectiveness,” according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Even the chair of the federal panel that recommended Gardasil for children opposes mandating it as a condition of school enrollment. Young girls and boys are simply not at an increased risk of contracting HPV in the classroom the way they are at risk of contracting measles or other school-age communicable diseases.

Perry defenders pointed to a bogus “opt-out” provision in his mandate “to protect the right of parents to be the final authority on their children’s health care.” But requiring parents to seek the government’s permission to keep an untested drug out of their kids’ veins is a plain usurpation of their authority. Translation: Ask your bureaucratic overlord to determine if a Gardasil waiver is right for you.

Libertarians and social conservatives alike slammed Perry’s reckless disregard for parental rights and individual liberty. The Republican-dominated legislature also balked. In May 2007, both chambers passed bills overturning the governor’s unilaterally imposed health order.

Fast-forward five years. After announcing his 2012 presidential bid this weekend, Perry now admits he “didn’t do my research well enough” on the Gardasil vaccine before stuffing his bad medicine down Texans’ throats. On Monday, he added: “That particular issue is one that I readily stand up and say I made a mistake on. I listened to the legislature … and I agreed with their decision.

Perry downplayed his underhanded maneuver as an aberrational “error,” and then — gobsmackingly — he spun the debacle as a display of his great character: “One of the things I do pride myself on, I listen. When the electorate says, ‘Hey, that’s not what we want to do,’ we backed up, took a look at what we did.”

Are these non-apology apologies enough to quell the concerns of voters looking for a presidential candidate who will provide a clear, unmistakable contrast to Barack Obama? Not by a long shot.

There is a ton of information in Malkin’s piece and she went to great lengths to link all of her research. I strongly recommend reading the entire column if you have not so already.

While Rick Perry’s executive order to mandate vaccines for children is raising eyebrows in the Republican party, I think it would serve us to take a look at what Governor Palin has said on the record about a state government taking such action.

Located within the mountain of emails that were released months ago from Governor Palin’s time in office, is a small quote from her that sums up her philosophy about the government’s role in such matters. She wrote this in response to an email from her staff in 2008 about chicken-pox immunization regulations:

“I would not propose govt mandating anything like shots for our kids.”

I never questioned for a moment whether or not Governor Palin would have done something akin to what Perry did in Texas with Gardasil. That’s the luxury of being a Palin supporter. We know her philosophy and we know she’s remained steady in her belief of limited government. We also know that she never governed for the benefit of any cronies.

The more I read about Rick Perry, the more I see in him what Governor Palin fought so hard against in Alaska. The Gardasil issue is just one instance in many that it appears Rick Perry put the interests of his financial backers above those of his constituents.

Timothy Carney wrote an eye-opening article for the Washington Examiner called “The cowboy corporatist rides to the rescue.” In it, he details some of the other recipients of Perry’s ‘assistance’ after donating money to his political operation. Carney writes:

In his next State of the State address, Perry pushed the Legislature to create the Texas Enterprise Fund, giving the governor, lieutenant governor and House speaker the power to hand out multimillion-dollar grants to businesses seeking to relocate to or expand within the state. Two years later, Perry and the Legislature created another subsidy bank, called the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, using taxpayer money to invest in high-tech companies. Perry made government a venture capital fund.

Muckrakers at the Los Angeles Times and the Austin American Statesman have shown a strong correlation between Perry’s biggest campaign contributors and the money handled by these funds and Perry’s other public-private partnership. Almost half of Perry’s “mega-donors,” according to the Times, have received profitable favors from the Texas government. Poultry magnate Joe Sanderson, for instance, gave Perry’s campaign $165,000 and received $500,000 from the Texas Enterprise Fund to open a facility in Waco, the Times reports.

The Austin paper documents the unsavory case of $80,000 Perry donor David Nance winning a $4.5 million grant from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. A regional board had denied the grant to Nance’s Convergen LifeSciences, but Perry intervened and ushered the grant through.

And just as President Obama uses renewable energy as an excuse for steering taxpayer money to big business, Perry also loves green corporate welfare. Perry was a featured speaker at the national wind lobby’s 2008 conference, where he touted his 2005 law requiring Texans to purchase wind and solar energy — all in the name of “job creation” and business growth. If you force people to buy a product, of course the businesses selling that product will grow.

How the conservative establishment plans on selling this guy as a bridge between the Tea Party and the GOP establishment, through the duration of the primary campaign is beyond me. Rick Perry’s views on the role of government and corporate welfare fly in the face of Tea Party values. Padding one’s political piggy bank with the money of people and entities who expect a much larger return on their “investment” is an abuse of the system. The idea that taxpayers go into debt paying out large sums to these “investors” to keep elected officials in their seats of power, is not the sort of behavior you will find any Tea Party activist supporting.

Governor Palin’s history of service stands in direct contrast to most politicians, including Rick Perry’s. She went against the grain of the deep-rooted corruption in Alaska, and even in her own party. She was independent enough to call out those who were abusing the system, and taking a strong stand against them. The only “interests” that Governor Palin focused on, were those of her constituents. That includes respecting their personal liberty by not “mandating anything like shots” for their children.

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Governor Palin Used Her Executive Authority to Make Government Smaller and More Ethical

by Whitney Pitcher

Executive experience is often seen as a needed criterion when looking for potential presidential nominees, especially among Republicans. It has been more than 130 years since the GOP nominated an eventual winner for President who only had legislative experience (Note: President Eisenhower’s military experience easily qualifies as executive experience). It goes beyond the simple dichotomy of legislative versus executive experience, however. What is even more important is how one used the executive experience that he or she has.  Did he or she use such experience to make government smaller or bigger? Did he or she use their executive experience to create personal mandates or to expand individual freedom? Did he or she use their executive to perpetuate or get rid of cronyism?

The office of Alaskan governor is known for being a very powerful office—2nd most powerful state executive in the country.  What makes the Alaska governor’s office so powerful include line item veto power that can only be overridden by three-fourths majority in the legislature and the ability to appoint all statewide executive department heads and  various board members positions and the like. The only two statewide elected officials are the governor and the lt. governor; other positions, such as attorney general, are appointed by the governor. In many ways, the proverbial buck indeed stopped with Governor Palin. During Governor Palin’s tenure, she used her executive power to make government smaller and more ethical and transparent.

As Governor, Sarah Palin vetoed nearly $500 million in spending during her tenure including vetoing nearly a quarter billion in 2007 alone. Such vetoes enabled her to cut Alaska’s budget 9.5% over her predecessor’s budget.  She also  vetoed  $268 million in the FY2009 capital budget. Despite legislative outcry over these vetoes, they did not even take up a vote to attempt to override her veto. Earlier that year, Governor Palin vetoed nearly $58 million for funding various projects in a supplemental bill. She did not use her line item veto indiscriminately though. Some of the projects proposed by legislators were projects Governor Palin had vetoed the year prior. She gave legislators the opportunity to justify why such projects should be funded:

She said if lawmakers didn’t want her to simply veto the projects again, they could make an appointment to come to her office and explain why the projects were worthy of funding. Palin personally attended more than a dozen meetings with lawmakers, and even opened them to the media.

On Thursday, members of her staff hand-delivered the results to lawmakers.

Of the $70 million in projects at issue, Palin accepted 52 projects totaling $12.4 million, chopped 16 worth $22.3 million, and put 155 projects worth $35.4 million in what she designated the “move” category.

In 2009, Governor Palin vetoed nearly $30 million in federal stimulus aimed at energy efficiency because it required federal building codes to be implemented. Her veto was later overridden by the legislature. Governor Palin was concerned with the sustainability of projects funded by the federal government when the funding would later dry out saying,” [i]f the legislature wants to add funds to grow government, then I also want to hear how we will get out of the fiscal hole we’ll be in just two years from now when those temporary stimulus funds are gone”. She could have used her pen to simply sign into law any spending project handed to her, but she did not. She exercised fiscal restraint, even to the dislike of the legislature, because she wanted to ensure government remained small and that all projects approved were truly worthy of state funding. Governor Palin used the power given to her by the Alaska constitution, but she did so to shrink spending, make state government smaller, and make Alaska less dependent on the federal government.

Governor Palin used her executive power to appoint individuals to cabinet type positions, councils, and the like who were of the same mindset when it came to making government smaller and reduce bureaucratic red tape. This can be seen in her creation of the Alaska Health Strategies Planning Council to address Alaska’s healthcare issues early in her term. This council was comprised of Department of Health and Social Services and individuals from various levels of government, the business community, the healthcare industry, and faith based organizations, and they were all appointed by the Governor. The recommendations from this council provided the basis for a healthcare proposal from the Governor, the Alaska Health Care Transparency Act, which would increase patient choice and remove bureaucratic red tape for providers—essentially making government smaller.  One thing this act proposed was removing the Certificate of Need (CON) requirement for building new healthcare facilities:

STATE CON LAWS originated, like so many bad health care ideas, with a mandate from the federal government. In 1974, states were effectively told by Washington that no new medical facilities could be built unless a “public need” had been demonstrated. The idea was to reduce costs, but the only measurable effect of this federal decree was a morass of bureaucratic red tape that stifled competition in the health care market. In 1987, the federal statute was finally repealed, but many states inexplicably kept their CON processes in place. Alaska was one of them and, as Governor Palin put it in an editorial for the Anchorage Daily News, “Under our present Certificate of Need process, costs and needs don’t drive health-care choices — bureaucracy does. Our system is broken and expensive.”

This bill ultimately was rejected by the legislature, but it indicates– both through her personal policy convictions and that of those whom she appointed– smaller, less bureaucratic government was the goal.

Through her appointments, Governor Palin showed how she desired to use her executive power to make government void of crony capitalism and more transparent. This was seen in the seven individuals she brought in to work with oil and gas issues, who had become known as the Magnificent Seven. One of these individuals, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Commissioner, Tom Irwin, was fired by Governor Murkowski, Palin’s predecessor, due to his questioning of the legality Murkowski’s pipeline deal. Six other DNR employees quit in protest of Irwin’s firing. Governor Palin brought these individuals back to work for her administration appointing Tom Irwin as her DNR commissioner.  These individuals were instrumental in both the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA)—her natural gas pipeline project—and Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (ACES)—the oil tax structure. AGIA was negotiated in a transparent manner and allowed all potential pipeline companies and energy development companies to compete for the opportunity to participate in the project and also allowed Alaskans to view these proposals in a transparent manner. No special treatment was shown to any particular companies because neither Governor Palin, her commissioners, nor her DNR staff had industry cronies.  The same could be said of ACES. Previously, PPT, the oil tax structure signed in to law by Governor Murkowski, was done in secret and was favorable to Murkowski’s cronies, which led to the indictment and arrest of Murkowski’s chief of staff, some legislators, and industry personnel from the pipeline company, VECO. ACES was not influenced by only certain oil companies, but instead provided incentives for any companies willing to engage in oil exploration. Governor Palin’s appointments helped rid Alaska of the crony capitalism and lack of government transparency.

Much of Governor Palin’s efforts to shrink government and make it more ethical are a direct contrast to the supposed GOP executive frontrunners in the race for the 2012 nominations. Both Governor Romney and Governor Perry grew government obligations.   They both increased state debt at a far greater pace than Governor Palin, while Governor Palin actually reduced state liabilities for pensions and the like when Governors Romney and Perry increased state liabilities.  Governor Romney’s infamous universal healthcare/individual mandate plan, which he defends on the basis of federalism, is very heavily funded, not by state monies, but by federal Medicaid and Medicare dollars and continues to run way over budget. Governor Perry once issued an executive order (thankfully later overturned by the Texas legislature)that mandated young girls to get a HPV vaccine manufactured by a company that gave substantially to Perry’s campaign. On the other hand, Governor Palin proposed a plan that gave more individual choices, not mandates, in healthcare. Governor Romney has a history of receiving campaign funds from entities that he once did business with and also had a history of engaging in and supporting corporatism through various subsidies. Governor Perry, too, has a history of crony capitalism by awarding business related grants to those who have donated to his gubernatorial campaigns. Governor Palin’s natural gas pipeline and her oil tax structure were aimed at removing cronyism, and her ethics reform bill sought to remove the influence of political favors for campaign funds.

Executives at any level of government could use their power to grow government spending and power and to reward cronies or those who donated to their campaign. Governor Palin is the only one who has a proven record of using her power to make the government smaller and less powerful.  Governor Palin used her power to reduce government spending and state reliance on the federal funding. She desired to increase individual choice, not create individual mandates.  She used her executive authority to make government more ethical and transparent while removing cronyism rather than perpetuating it. The differences could not be clearer.

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