Thursday, November 17, 2005

Republicans tie vaccine funding to dropping liability for drug companies

Note to Washington Post. Writer Jeffrey H. Birnbaum needs to be put on the Op Ed page. If a person is truly an objective writer, he or she would not lead with RNC talking points tainting the other side of the argument before it's even presented.

In fact, even Birnbaum's tone shows he's hankering after a Rush Limbaugh like radio gig. This piece in the Washington Post is disgusting yellow journalism. Just what you'd expect by corporate news under a less than objective editorial staff.

Did the Post think that letting bloggers in actually give them the right to sloppy or tainted journalism? They'd better think again.

So please, don't even swallow the lie that the news media is liberal. Once again we are blatantly shown that the truth is the opposite. This screed isn't even labeled a column! This is as bad as many of the news magazines which do not label their worst right wing partisans as columnists or put them under op-ed notice, but present them as just another reporter (and let the right wing 'reporters' out number the left wing ones by 3 to 1).

Hey, Birnbaum. Maybe lawyers in this case are doing what they often do, using the law and in this case advocating future law protect the common person i.e. 99.9% of America against the most outrageous abuses of the very rich and the corporations. Is that such a terrible thing to do?

Excerpt from article:
But the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and some of its Democratic allies in Congress are working to scuttle or drastically transform the effort, asserting that anti-lawsuit language in the bill would so broadly indemnify pharmaceutical companies against suits that consumers' rights would be denied.

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), the Senate's chief advocate for strict liability protections, asserted that the companies need to be thoroughly indemnified against suits to provide enough of an incentive for them to make vaccines, which tend to be low-profit products.

The conflict will almost certainly lead to fireworks during debate on the floor of the House and the Senate and could delay the legislation itself, which is a Bush priority, lobbyists and congressional aides said.

...

"The Republican leadership in Congress is trying to do another special favor for drug companies by slipping a provision into a massive spending bill to absolve the pharmaceutical industry of any responsibility to patients injured by dangerous drugs or vaccines," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said. "It's cynical to claim that this is what's needed to deal with avian flu."

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) said: "We all share the goal of protecting the American people. But I'm alarmed that such a critical question . . . is being handled with a backroom deal."

He and Kennedy also said people might refuse to take a vaccine without an effective compensation program for people who get injured. They asserted that the Republican provision does not contain an adequate plan to compensate such people.

ATLA and its Democratic supporters believe that the pending provision, drafts of which have been circulating informally on Capitol Hill, would stop a wide variety of lawsuits against drugmakers, including those that target drugs other than vaccines. The lobby has long fought such broad restrictions.


Reading the entire article (which busy Americans often don't have time to do) it becomes clear that the Bush administration and the congressional Republicans are trying to protect drug manufacturers from any kind of challenge to their ability to kill without decent repercussions.

Many experts have noted that if the US government promised vaccine makers that they could sell all the vaccine they made, then there would be enough vaccine for all. That is why EU and Canada has enough of it's own vaccine for the bird flu, for regular flu, while the US like a poor cousin must beg for the stuff and allow its citizens to be manipulated or endangered by some of the worst criminals in history. Companies that want the right to possibly produce a holocaust through malpractice without adequate compensation.

Also see this about Holocaust denier David Irving who has been arrested in Austria.

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