Thursday, October 11, 2007

Opposition to Assembly Bill 492


Chairman of the Assembly Public Health Committee:
Members of the Assembly Public Health Committee:
Legislators of the State of Wisconsin:
Fellow citizens of Wisconsin:

I am here to speak in opposition to Assembly Bill 492 and its companion bill Senate Bill 252. This bill would mandate the State Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) to collect information about the human papillomavirus (HPV) including the causes and symptoms of the virus, how it is spread, how it may be prevented, how to obtain additional information about the virus and the availability, effectiveness and risks of vaccination against the virus. The DHFS would then have to make the collected information available to public schools, private schools, and charter schools. Then each school board or governing body of each public, private, and charter school would have to provide the collected information to the parents and guardians of all pupils enrolled in grades 6 to 12. The HPV, spread only by sexual activity, leads to cervical cancers. The bill has the stated goal of preventing or curing those cancers. I speak as a Mother, Grandmother, and as a woman who loves kids. There are several reasons why I oppose this bill.

1. AB 492 would require every single school- public, private, and charter, to promote a vaccine manufactured by a single company, Merck. When and how did it become the responsibility of ordinary taxpayers to help one private company? Would this expand to taxpayers paying another drug company for promoting their drug, or another manufacturer to promote their car seat for kids, or their bicycle, because it was mandated by the Wisconsin Legislature? Since Merck has a record of marketing unsafe drugs, which resulted in those drugs being taken off the market, it is even more important that we residents of Wisconsin not be forced to support that company. Therefore it is not the duty nor right for the Wisconsin Assembly and/or Senate to promote the drug manufacturer, Merck.

2. Gardasil, the Merck drug that AB 492 would require every school and all parents of Junior High and High School age students to be informed about, has not even been proven to be safe. It was “approved” by the Food and Drug Administration in June, 2006 for females aged 9 to 26 after only a six month review. In the clinical trials, there were 25,000 subjects. Gardasil is not effective in persons with HPV so sexually inactive girls are the ideal immunization population. Unfortunately for them, 1184 young girls were used in the clinical trials. However, with 1184, or only 5% of the 25,000 people in the trials , being sexually inactive girls, it is clear that that Gardasil is really an untested product for 11 and 12 year old girls. What about adverse reactions to those who have already gotten this vaccine? Now only a year and three months after the FDA’s approval, the FDA’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has already received 2,207 reports of adverse side effects following HPV vaccination. 2125 of those reports came in since February of 2007. This shows that the adverse effects do not always show up immediately after the vaccination, certainly not after only six months! These reports include: 31 were considered life threatening; 1,385 required emergency room visits; 451 females at the time of the report had not recovered; 51 females were disabled when the report was filed; 5 girls died, ages 12, 15, 19 and two of unknown age. According to the Judicial Watch website, one female patient died of a blood clot three hours after getting the Gardasil vaccine. One 12 year old girl and one 19 year old girl died from heart problems and/or blood clotting after being vaccinated. To their credit, Merck and Co has published the side effects. They warn about potential pain, fever, nausea, dizziness, and itching, some of which are typical side effects to any vaccination. Other more serious side effects that Merck has published are: paralysis, Bells Palsy, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and seizures. These are short term reports! What will the reports be 5, 10, 15 years from now? The drug Gardasil is being promoted as being effective against cervical cancer, yet that disease does not develop until later in life - usually by age 50. There is absolutely no proof that girls immunized at ages 11& 12 will even “hold” their immunity that long! A Gardasil vaccination now may be worthless 20 years from now or it may have caused more serious, damaging side effects. Traditionally, the only vaccines that are mandated are drugs that have been in use for years!

3. Taxpayers could end up paying for hundreds of future medical lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits due to this drug, if the information is coming from our own state government and local schools. Why wouldn’t Merck and Co. be the recipient of these lawsuits? Because they have immunity from them! When the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommended after insufficient studies and long time use, that girls aged 11 & 12 receive Gardasil, Merck received immunity from lawsuits under a federal program called VACCINE INJURY COMPENSATION PROGRAM, which is a public-paid insurance program. This means that Merck is legally blameless if children are injured by mandatory Gardasil vaccines and it means that the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has to compensate them. Taxpayer money should not be used to compensate people for a drug known to have adverse reactions and that does not treat what it claims to treat.

4. I oppose this bill because of the cost to the taxpayers of Wisconsin. The cost of administering the drug Gardasil would be about $330 to $360 each, the highest priced vaccine ever produced. Merck would pocket 65% of that for about $234 per person. It is hard to calculate the cost of the distributing the information as required in this bill. First the Department of Health and Family Services, which is taxpayer funded, would be spending their time and effort on collecting and passing on the information. Why is that necessary? The facts about cervical cancer and Gardasil are already known by people in the medical field. Then the information would go to schools – and from them to the parents - another mandated rule for our schools to follow but no additional funds to carry it out – another cost for each school district. Yes, they could carry this obligation out by posting it on their web sites. Easy to do, but then it is also easily available for any student going to the web site to get their assignment or grades! This bill would cause unnecessary costs to Wisconsin taxpayers.

5. How effective is the drug Gardasil against HPV? This drug is effective against only four of the 100 known strains of these viruses. These four strains are responsible for only 60% to 70% of all cervical cancers. There is another, 100% effective prevention for cervical cancer and that is abstinence – abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage with one uninfected partner. HPV is a result of unrestricted sexual activity. To suggest that 11 and 12 year old girls be vaccinated for a disease that is caused by sexual activity, is to assume that they are going to be sexually active. Such an assumption may be true for some girls, but most certainly not all girls. Children live up to what you expect of them most of the time. If you teach and expect abstinence, most will be abstinent. If you expect promiscuity, they probably will be promiscuous. We should be teaching abstinence, and there are funds available for that. However, Gov. Doyle has directed the Department of Health and Family Services to turn down $600,000 in Title V Federal funds because of restrictions on what they could teach when using these funds.

6. I oppose this bill because the real goal of AB 492 is to prepare the way for mandating the vaccine for all girls going into sixth grade in this state. That was the bill brought in February, 2007, which failed due to a strong public backlash to such extreme measures. Senator Taylor and Representative Grigsby have said that they would like to see the HPV vaccination mandatory and are not done with this agenda yet. This bill is a stepping stone to mandating an unsafe drug to young girls whom it won’t help and will probably harm.

7. I oppose this bill because it is neither the state government’s responsibility, nor right, nor duty to decide what is best for the children, including the young girls that live in this state. Our young girls do not belong to the Federal government; they do not belong to the state government; they do not belong to the school districts. They are wonderful human beings, placed in families that are responsible to bring them up to adulthood. The families that I know love their children unconditionally; they want what is best for them; they do not want to see them harmed in any way; they want to see them grow up to being responsible, mature adults. Maybe the families you know are not like that. Maybe the families are broken and your neighborhood is in ruins. Maybe in your part of the state people are living in unsafe, unfriendly environments. If so, then make their world safer, not more dangerous by advocating, and eventually mandating the HPV vaccine Gardasil. Make their world safer by teaching and expecting abstinence. In the school district where I reside, the schools have taken driver’s education out of their curriculum, and the parents are solely responsible. That is what we need to do in regards to so-called education about sexually transmitted diseases. Keep the parents responsible for their job. The government needs to stop mandating everything that is done in our schools. Stay out of families’ daily lives. Please, leave our precious children alone.

In summary, I oppose AB 492/SB252 for these reasons: taxpayers should not have to pay for advertising for one specific company, or for telling people about an unsafe drug, or for funding lawsuits which the government is sure to incur. The drug being pushed is not safe, the clinical trials were totally flawed and too short, and it is only effective against some of the viruses that cause cervical cancer. AB492 would be a stepping stone to force all girls going into sixth grade to get this vaccine. That would be too much government interference in our schools and in our families.

I have a copy of my remarks, and some supporting information, for the members of the committee bringing this bill. Thank you for the opportunity to speak and thank you for listening.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Say NO to "Healthy Wisconsin" state health care plan

To: Sen.Lazich
Subject: NO to "Healthy Wisconsin" state health care plan.

Adopting the "Healthy Wisconsin" state health care plan would reverse over 30 years of prohibiting taxpayer dollars for abortion in Wisconsin, and abortions in our state would most certainly increase! Please speak to your counterparts and request that they vote NO on adopting the "Healthy Wisconsin" state health plan. We hope you feel the same way.
Thanks and God Bless
Edd & Joan Borngeser
New Berlin


Dear Edd and Joan,
Thank you very much for your email. I agree with you about opposing the funding of abortions, and I am pleased to follow your directive to urge conference committee members to oppose the government health care plan. The Senate Democrat's were asked by Wisconsin Right to Life to amend the bill to prohibit abortion in their government health care plan and they refused to amend the bill.
As I wrote in my previous email of July 9, 2007, after viewing the Senate Democrat's budget, taxing and spending in Wisconsin could not get more crystal clear. The existing budget is $52.7 billion. The Senate Democrats budget is $66.1 billion and that is with only six months of their $15.2 billion annual government health plan. The budget would be a minimum of $88.9 billion with the government health plan in effect for the entire budget cycle.
The Senate Democrats health plan includes an appointed board that controls price and ration of health care. School districts must join the plan; however, if the plan does not provide the coverage they receive now, supplemental coverage must be provided to maintain current benefits. In other words teachers will continue with current coverage and the rest of us will go in the government plan. The plan is premised on Governor Doyle getting a waiver for his plan to put all with incomes up to 300 percent of poverty level in state medical assistance.
Attached is a memo I requested from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau about the Senate Democrats health plan proposal.
Below is a link to my blog for more information. Please scroll down to entries about various issues.
The Senate Democrat's government health care program is reported as the largest tax increase in history by any state.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Immigration Sellout, Not Reform

by Phyllis SchlaflyMay 30, 2007
The Kennedy-Kyl (K-K) Amnesty bill should be titled An Act to Destroy the Republican Party because it pits President Bush against the majority of the Party that elected him. When Senator Ted Kennedy appeared as the centerpiece of the photo-op announcing it, that told the grassroots all they needed to know about the politics of the deal trumpeted as bipartisan.

The Bush Administration has been tone deaf about how offensive are the words comprehensive and compromise. The American people want border security that we can see with our own eyes on television, and they are ready to defeat and disdain Members of Congress who vote for a package deal that contains amnesty and guest worker proposals.

Despite denials, the K-K bill is amnesty. It will give 12 to 20 million illegal aliens exactly what they want, namely, the legal right to remain in the United States by being immediately given a probationary visa.

The K-K bill increases legal migration by at least 50 percent over the next decade by granting green cards to all the remote relatives who are in the chain migration categories, a number estimated at 750,000 to 900,000 a year (triple the current number of 250,000). Giving green cards to millions of additional relatives ensures that legal immigration will continue to grow as this larger pool of permanent residents brings in spouses.

The K-K bill will bring into our country at least 400,000 guest workers per year. That's twice the number in last year's unacceptable Senate bill.

The K-K bill claims that benchmarks must be met before amnesty/guest-worker provisions go into effect. But the benchmarks do not require that we have closed the border, do not require that all the fence be built which Congress mandated last October, do not require that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implement the entry-exit visa system so we can know if visitors and guest workers actually leave, do not require employee verification, and do not require that DHS deport absconders (the 600,000 aliens who have already been ordered deported).

The only thing the bill actually requires is that DHS speedily process amnesty applications and green cards for chain migration.

The K-K bill authorizes 4,000 new Border Patrol agents, but doesn't require that they be actually trained or deployed. It's difficult to hire and keep Border Patrol agents because of the way some have been prosecuted and sentenced to long prison terms after intercepting professional drug smugglers bringing in vans of illegal drugs.

Another benchmark is that "tools" will be provided to prevent illegals from getting jobs, including requirements for ID standards and an employee verification system. But there is no requirement that anybody actually use the tools.

The costs of the K-K bill are mind-boggling, and the Senate has made no attempt to estimate or figure out how to pay them. The Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector puts a potential price tag on this bill of $2.5 trillion, which is five times the cost of the Iraq war!

Rector gave the House Judiciary Committee detailed testimony setting forth how he arrived at this figure. At least 60 percent of illegal aliens lack a high school diploma, which means they will work low-wage jobs, pay little or no income tax, and be heavy users of our schools and means-tested social benefits such as Medicaid, school lunches, WIC, subsidized housing, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and free legal counsel.

Fiscal costs would go up dramatically after amnesty recipients reach retirement. Each elderly low-skill immigrant imposes a net cost (benefits minus taxes) on U.S. taxpayers of about $17,000 per year. These costs would hit Social Security and Medicare at the very time Social Security is expected to go into crisis.

Section 413 calls on Congress to "accelerate the implementation" of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) (announced by Bush at Waco in 2005) so that the U.S. can "improve the standard of living in Mexico." Do U.S. taxpayers want to take on the awesome economic burden of solving poverty problems in Mexico?

The K-K bill states that we want to increase access to credit for "poor and under served populations in Mexico," and expand efforts "to reduce the transaction costs of remittance flows" from the U.S. to Mexico (now running at $23 billion a year).

The K-K bill also puts us into a "partnership" with Mexico for "increasing health care access for poor and under served populations in Mexico," for "assisting Mexico in increasing its emergency and trauma health care facilities," and for "expanding prenatal care" in the border region. It looks like Robert Rector's estimates are only the start of the costs that will put a truly incredible burden on American taxpayers.

Further reading: Immigration

Eagle Forum Opposes HPV Vaccine Mandate

The pharmaceutical giant, Merck, has been lobbying state legislatures throughout the nation, including Wisconsin, to mandate the vaccination of girls entering the sixth grade in public, private and charter schools against HPV, Human Papilloma Virus. Lobbying efforts are also being carried out by the "Women in Government Council" of which a top Merck vaccine official is a member.
While Merck claims its newly approved vaccine is safe, the legislation includes limits in liability and limits in the time a claim may be filed as a result of an adverse reaction to the vaccine. Financial analysts project Merck will reap billions if the mandate is approved at a cost per child for the three part vaccine regime at $360.
According to Barbara Loe Fisher, President of NVIC, the National Vaccine Information Center, "Merck and the FDA have not been completely honest with the people about pre-licensure clinical trials". The NVIC has gone on record by stating Merck"s Gardasil is not proven safe for little girls. The vaccine is administered in three doses and contains 225mcg of aluminum per dose for a total of 675 mcg of aluminum. Aluminum has been shown to cause nerve damage in animal and human studies. Recent findings by Canadian researchers have shown a link between aluminum in vaccines and symptoms of Parkinsons, Lou Gerhigs Disease and Alzheimers Disease. The FDA already has on file 82 reports of serious adverse reactions to Gardasil which has been approved for use for less than a year.
According to the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, more than 90% of HPV infections are harmless and disappear without treatment. The American Cancer Society also states that most women with HPV infection do not get cervical cancer, while doctors feel there are many other factors that cause this cancer to develop. The Center for Disease Control reports there are more than 100 strains of HPV of which 30 are sexually transmitted. Of these, only 4 are prevented while 30% of cervical cancer are not prevented by the new vaccine. Regular pap smears are still required. The vaccine has been tested for only the past few years, and the duration of immunity is unknown. Claims of long term prevention can not be made, and does not justify the state mandate. Joseph Bocchini, Chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on infectious diseases stated, "I think it's too early...This is a new vaccine. It would be wise to wait until we have additional information about the safety of the vaccine."
Eagle Forum of Wisconsin is extremely concerned about risks this vaccine poses to young girls, and also the message that is being sent by mandating a vaccine against a sexually transmitted disease. The vaccine does not protect against other STDs or HIV. The mandate is assuming all young girls will engage in sexual activity prior to marriage and undermines many parent's message advocating abstinence. The bill does provide a provision to opt-out; unfortunately, many parents are often intimidated or are not informed of an option. If parents feel their daughters need this vaccine, it is readily available and does not require a state mandate.
The same bill was defeated in Michigan, but unfortunately, implemented in Texas by the governor's executive order after Merck's lobbying expenditures reportedly increased to $250,000!
Please call the legislative hotline at 1-800-362-9472 today!
For more information, please contact
Dottie Feder
Eagle Forum of Wisconsin