If there’s one characteristic of the anti-vaccine movement that helps define them as true cranks, it’s a streak of conspiracy theory mania. It’s not too much of an exaggeration when I wonder if they think that the Lizard Men have taken over the government, the CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics in order to use vaccines in a New World Order plot to make all of our children autistic. Or something. I’m never quite sure. Knowing this particular aspect of the anti-vaccine movement, the only thing that surprises me is that they haven’t joined the forces arrayed against President Obama’s effort to reform health care in this country. While there may be principled and reasonable objections to elements of the plan or even philosophical objections to the very concept of the government funding health care, this rant is none of those. Written by Terrence P. Jeffry and entitled Health Care Bill Will Fund State Vaccine Teams to Conduct ‘Interventions’ in Private Homes, it has that lovely “Oh, noes, Obama’s coming to steal our babiez” sort of vibe that, even though I know I should, I just can’t resist:
(CNSNews.com) - There is a knock at the front door. Peeking through the window, a mother sees a man and a woman, both in uniform. They are agents of health-care reform.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” says the man. “Our records show that your eleven-year-old daughter has not been immunized for genital warts.”
“And your four-year-old still needs the chicken-pox vaccine,” says the woman.
“He will not be allowed to start kindergarten unless he gets that shot, you know,” says the man–smiling from ear to ear.
“So, can we please come in?” asks the woman. “We have the vaccines right here,” she says, lifting up a black medical bag. “We can give your kids the shots right now.”
“We are from the government,” says the man, “and we’re here to help.”
Oooh. Scary! Run! The guv’mint’s coming to vaccinate your babies!
Before delving into the deepest, darkest depths of paranoia, Jeffry shows a rare flash of self-awareness:
Is this a scene from the over-heated imagination of an addlepated conspiracy theorist? Or is it something akin to what is actually envisioned by the health-care reform bill approved this week by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee.
Not surprisingly, he then proceeds to get the rhetorical question he asks himself so utterly and completely wrong by over-reading the text of a draft of the Senate version of the health care reform bill. Not surprisingly, as a bill designed to promote better health, its authors have included a provision designed to encourage immunizations. That’s where Jeffry gets his panties all in a knot. Actually, he gives himself a turbo wedgie with his tighty-whiteys over the immunization provision:
Says the draft bill: “Funds received under a grant under this subsection shall be used to implement interventions that are recommended by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services (as established by the secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) or other evidence-based interventions, including–”(A) providing immunization reminders or recalls for target populations of clients, patients, and consumers; (B) educating targeted populations and health care providers concerning immunizations in combination with one or more other interventions; (C) reducing out-of-pocket costs for families for vaccines and their administration; (D) carrying out immunization-promoting strategies for participants or clients of public programs, including assessments of immunization status, referrals to health care providers, education, provision of on-site immunizations, or incentives for immunization;(E) providing for home visits that promote immunization through education, assessments of need, referrals, provision of immunizations, or other services; (F) providing reminders or recalls for immunization providers;(G) conducting assessments of, and providing feedback to, immunization providers; or (H) any combination of one or more interventions described in this paragraph.”
Most of these measures should be utterly uncontroversial, especially provision (C). After all, the vaccine drive carried out by the James Randi Educational Foundation was made necessary by the fact that, although the U.S. government pays for the vaccines themselves through the Vaccines For Children program, the State of Nevada requires families to pay the administrative charges. Many families couldn’t afford them, even though they range from $16 to $25. As for the rest, they’re basic common sense public health strategies for increasing the vaccination rates. But what about these home visits in (E)?
Well, there’s actually not much more than that in the bill; home visits are listed as one of several strategies that can be used to encourage vaccination. But this is the federal government we’re talking about. There must be a real purpose hidden beneath the text. After a little diversion ranting about chickenpox vaccine, Jeffrey moves on to his real objection:
In March of this year, the Washington Post reported about the controversy sparked when the Merck pharmaceutical company campaigned to have states mandate that school girls receive Gardasil, its vaccine against HPV.
Oh, yes! I knew it! The real problem with this is that Obama Nazis will be coming around to vaccinate your daughters with the HPV vaccine, eliminating one consequence of having sex. And if the possibility of contracting HPV and developing cervical cancer, we all know that girls will become totally promiscuous, and we can’t have that, can we?