Skip to comments.Rick Perry's Bad Medicine
Posted on 08/17/2011 4:41:52 PM PDT by Brices Crossroads
Texas, we have a problem. Your GOP governor is running for president against Barack Obama. Yet, one of his most infamous acts as executive of the nation's second-largest state smacks of every worst habit of the Obama administration. And his newly crafted rationalizations for the atrocious decision are positively Clintonesque.
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.
How Obama-like was this scandal? Let us count the ways:
TRAMPLING OF THE DELIBERATIVE PROCESS
Since Day One, President Obama has short-circuited transparency, public debate and congressional oversight. How can Perry effectively challenge the White House's czar fetish, stealth recess appointments, selective waiver-mania and backdoor legislating through administrative orders when Perry himself employed the very same process as governor? Not only did Perry defend going above the heads of elected state legislators, but his office also falsely claimed the legislature had no right to repeal the executive order. "The order is effective until Perry or a successor changes it, and the Legislature has no authority to repeal it," Perry spokeswoman Krista Moody told The Washington Post in February 2007.
When both the House and Senate repealed the law six weeks later, Perry did not as he now claims listen humbly or "agree with their decision."
HUMAN SHIELD DEMAGOGUERY.
In response to the legislature's rebuke, the infuriated governor attacked those who supported repeal as "shameful" spreaders of "misinformation" who were putting "women's lives" at risk. Borrowing a tried-and-true Alinskyite page from the progressive left, Perry surrounded himself with female cervical cancer victims and deflected criticism of his imperial tactics with emotional anecdotes.
He then lionized himself and the minority of politicians who voted against repeal of his Gardasil order. "They will never have to think twice about whether they did the right thing. No lost lives will occupy the confines of their conscience, sacrificed on the altar of political expediency." Perry, of course, has now put his own ghastly Gardasil order on that same altar but with no apology to all those he demonized and exploited along the way.
Most noxious of all, Perry wraps his big government health mandate in the "pro-life" mantle. But the do-gooder theater is a distraction from the business-as-usual back-scratching and astro-turfing that are Obama hallmarks. Perry's former chief of staff Mike Toomey is a top Merck lobbyist. Toomey's mother-in-law headed a Merck-funded front group pushing vaccination mandates. And Merck's political action committee pitched in $6,000 to Perry's re-election campaign in 2007.
The PerryCare executive fiat was not simply a one-off mistake explained away by lack of "research." It exposed a fundamental lapse in both political and policy judgments, an appalling lack of ethics and a disturbing willingness to smear principled defenders of limited government who object to the Nanny State using their children as guinea pigs.
Trusting Rick Perry's tea party credentials is a perilous shot in the dark.
"The PerryCare executive fiat was not simply a one-off mistake explained away by lack of "research." It exposed a fundamental lapse in both political and policy judgments, an appalling lack of ethics and a disturbing willingness to smear principled defenders of limited government who object to the Nanny State using their children as guinea pigs."
So, I guess we need to keep looking until we find a candidate who has never done a single thing we don’t agree with. Awaiting such an ideal is what’s keeping us from getting anywhere. I can’t think of anyone who I agree 100% with, but Perry has got some really good positive credentials as well. I personally like Palin, but I’m not yet convinced that she’s electable. Perry is my second choice.
Slick-Rick is not the conservative that some on FR try to make him out to be. He’s a self-serving career politician who’s more beholden to big business and his globalist masters than he is the American people. And Im convinced he and his supporters like it that way.
Perry hasn’t just done SOME things I disagree with. He has done a LOTof things I disagree with. Gardasil, instate tuition for children of illegals. Opposition to the border defense. Doubling state spending in TX on his watch. Opposing the Arizona law. Supporting Proabortion Rudy Giuliani in 2008 for President, the only GOP governor to do so. How much more do you need to conclude that he is bad news.
He is not a conservative in any meaningful sense.
Perry is not a conservative in any sense. He just says he is and, frankly, his word cannot be trusted.
Perry is never gonna sell. Conservatives are already onto him, and he has only been a candidate for 5 days.
Gardasil is a drug developed by Merck & Co.. It is supposed to prevent cervical cancer caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it in June of 2006 and subsequently recommended vaccination in females aged 11 and 12, before they become sexual active. Since it is not effective against an existing infection, it must be given before a sexually-transmitted HPV infection occurs.
Governor Perry issued an Executive Order (EO) (RP#65, February, 2007) which mandated that all Texas girls be vaccinated prior to their admission to the sixth grade. Parents were allowed to opt out of the mandate by filling out an affidavit.
Perry was rebuked by both houses of the Texas legislature which overturned his EO by a veto-proof margin. Seeing the writing on the wall, Perry did not sign the law. He subsequently rescinded RP#65 with another EO (RP#74) and the issue is now dead in Texas. At least 18 other states (notably New York and Michigan) were considering similar actions with Gardasil, but none were actually implemented. Here is a link to additional data on other states decisions, from a 2007 article in Time Magazine Health.
Perrys negatives related to the Gardasil issue were:
There are still some who are convinced that Merck contributed more than a paltry $6,000 to Perry. They are simply wrong. Merck gave two checks, one for $1,000 and another for $5,000 to Perry in the 2006 election timeframe (in 2008, they contributed a whopping $2,500). Here is a source to view all of Perrys contributions: ProPublica. In fact, Merck has only contributed $23,500 to Perry over a 1998-2010 span, not exactly George Soros money. For comparison, from 2000-2006 Merck gave $2,460,000 to state politicians across 40 states.
The other side of the story:
Gardasil was believed to be a way to stop certain types of cancer among young women. Studies appearing in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 found that Gardasil was nearly 100 percent effective in preventing precancerous cervical lesions caused by the the strains that Gardasil protects against. Gardasils effectiveness increased when given to girls and young women before they become sexually active. Gardasil was found to be extremely effective in preventing several (but not all) of the strains of HPV known to cause cervical cancer and genital warts.
Some critics maintain that Gardasil has a record of very serious safety issues. That obvious attempt to further tarnish Perrys image by intimating that not only did he do the bidding of Merck in ordering the vaccinations, he did so without considering the possible serious side effects. There is little doubt that Governor Perry knew a great deal more about Gardasil at the time than those critics do now. The CDC has been following Gardasil since its licensing and some current facts follow. Taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website:
Since licensure, CDC and FDA have been closely monitoring the safety of HPV vaccines. As of June 22, 2011, approximately 35 million doses of Gardasil® have been distributed in the U.S. and the safety monitoring system (VAERS) received a total of 18,727 reports of adverse events following Gardasil® vaccination. As with all VAERS reports, serious events may or may not have been caused by the vaccine.
Of the total number of VAERS reports following Gardasil®, 92% were considered to be non-serious, and 8% were considered serious. Out of 35,000,000 doses distributed, there were 1,498 occasions of serious complications; that equates to a .0000428 chance that a dose will cause a serious adverse reaction. Hardly enough to consider the vaccine a very serious safety issue as claimed by some critics. Apparently, they are too lazy to do a little research.
As of June, 2011, the CDC says: Based on all of the information we have today, CDC recommends HPV vaccination for the prevention of most types of cervical cancer. As with all approved vaccines, CDC and FDA will continue to closely monitor the safety of HPV vaccines. Check out the CDCs statements about Gardasil for yourself. And specifically check out the Summary at the end for the CDCs conclusion about Gardasils effectiveness.
In Gardasil, Merck believed that they had a credible, FDA-approved, CDC recommended, fact-backed case for vaccinating young women and lobbied state officials to do so. Were they trying to make money on the drug? Without a doubt, thats what a business does.
Perry maintains that the justification for his executive order making the shot mandatory was twofold: 1) that the vaccine offered a chance to save lives that might have otherwise been taken away by cervical cancer and, 2) that insurance companies wouldnt cover the $360 cost of the vaccine ($120 for each of a 3-shot regimen) when it was simply an optional recommended vaccine. That put it out of the reach for most low-income Texans. This from the Time Magazine article (linked above), Some pediatricians and gynecologists are refusing to stock Gardasil because many insurance companies reimburse so little for the vaccine, which costs $360 for the three required doses.
When Perry mandated Gardasil, it would have become part of a school-related vaccine package which was then covered by insurance for simply the cost of a co-pay.
An update: from Perrys Speech in New Hampshire at the Home of New Hampshire Deputy Speaker Pam Tucker (8/13/2011):
When a voter in New Hampshire confronted Perry on the Gardasil issue, heres what he said, I signed an executive order that allowed for an opt-out, but the fact of the matter is I didnt do my research well enough to understand that we needed to have a substantial conversation with our citizenry, he said. I hate cancer. Let me tell you, as a son who has a mother and father who are both cancer survivors.
Perry said hed invested governmet resources in cancer cures, adding, I hate cancer. And this HPV, we were seeing young ladies die at the early age. What we should have done was a program that frankly should have allowed them to opt in, or some type of program like that, but heres what I learned when you get too far out in front of the parade they will let you know. And thats exactly what our legislature did.
A cynic may not buy his explanation, but Obama would never admit to a mistake at all.
Agree or disagree, at least he listened to the people and backed off.
He only announced this past Saturday?
Welcome to national politics Rick—I like what you have been saying lately and I wish you luck...
You are going to need it.
As you say, there is a long list of things over the years, which put Rick Perry somewhat to the left of George Bush.
Would you rather we discuss this on this board or have him nominated and let the left have their field day? There is so much more to this story. He is not a knight in shining armor like he is being made out to be. And his baggage has baggage. Is this what we really want?
We’re in agreement on these matters. No doubt about it.
If the worst thing Perry has done is this vaccine deal then Perry is good to go. Malkin goes off the deep end in this article. Of course people with an agenda will use anything to try and trash someone. When the protest is out of proportion I am even more inclined to take a closer look at the candidate they are trashing. Perry has been around for a while and has a long record so there should lots of things to disagree with yet they seem to harp on this vaccine bill. Good luck with that.
Did you even read her column before posting your spam? Spam hardly serves as a rebuttal to her well supported charges of trampling the deliberative process , human shield demagoguery and cronyism.
Spam convinces no one. Most people don;’t read it. Why do you post it?
Not one Texas student got the vaccine because the legislature stopped the program before the schools implemented it. Malkin is misleading on that point.
The worst part was that Perry’s chief of staff was a lobbyist for Merck. That was the most odious part of this episode.
If Romney cannot escape his liberal past why should Slick-Rick be allowed to escape his?
ONE BIG FACT MISSING.
Perry killed the PLAN immediately after hearing about its flaws.
So, he listened to the public and killed the plan and it never went into effect .
So who cares anymore ?
I love Michelle Malkin. I don’t think there is a conservative blogger out there who is better than her. Her columns are grounded in fact and she is reasonable in what she writes. I admire her greatly.
However, I hear her on this issue but its not convincing. Perry is not going to engage in “crony capitalism” for $6,000. He explained his decision and said he made a mistake. He obviously hasn’t convinced a lot of people but I’m pretty conservative and he has convinced me. Besides, t
The “crony capitalism” charge is really an indictment of someone spending government money on cronies. Perry has a record of cutting spending. This is not a significant issue for me in supporting him.
And we haven’t even gotten to the wet kisses that the Hamas front group CAIR has been blowing Perry and his associations with radical imams.
Perry is toast. Burnt toast.
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