The facts about flu from Henry Waxman

Mistakes were made. Lies are being told.

Did you know that in 2001 the Institute of Medicine recommended the creation of a National Vaccine Authority, and that the Bush Administration took no action on that recommendation?

Did you know that in 2002 the GAO recommended that the FDA create a fast-track process for vaccine approvals, and that the Bush Administration too no action on that recommendation?

Me neither. But Congressman Henry Waxman knows, and documents, those facts, and additional ways in which the Bush Administration was asleep at the switch.

Waxman, who has forgotten more about health policy than most people in Washington will ever know, also has the straight scoop on the FDA’s foul-ups and on the basic bogosity of the claim that liability reform would solve the problem. (The bill to cover flu vaccine under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is now on the President’s desk, as it was expected to be by now, and the President’s “tort reform” proposals specifically except anything covered by VICP.)

Yes, this is a hot issue. How do I know? Why, because GWB and his troops are fibbing about it. (No, having flu treatments available doesn’t mean that the unvaccinated are “safe.”)

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

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