In February 2007, Texas Governor Rick Perry bypassed the legislature, and used an executive order to require all girls to receive a vaccine against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, which can cause cervical cancer. He also subsidized the drug through Medicaid and other channels.
In a storyline I would have made up were I writing a novel about this, Perry’s former chief of staff was a lobbyist for the drug company that crafted the policy.
Here’s the Post’s report:
Merck could generate billions in sales if Gardasil _ at $360 for the three-shot regimen _ were made mandatory across the country. Most insurance companies now cover the vaccine, which has been shown to have no serious side effects.
The New Jersey-based drug company is bankrolling efforts to pass state laws across the country mandating Gardasil for girls as young as 11 or 12. It doubled its lobbying budget in Texas and has funneled money through Women in Government, an advocacy group made up of female state legislators around the country.
Perry has ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company’s three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry’s former chief of staff. His current chief of staff’s mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government.
So, as a conservative libertarian sensitive to the revolving door and Big Business using Big Government for profit, I have a hard time getting over this one. I expect I’ll write more about Perry and Gardasil.
But today, I’ll note a recent blow Perry has struck against regulatory robbery — signing the “Bakers Bill,” which allows people to sell stuff they cook in their home.