Friday, March 19, 2010

Swine flu and the government's takeover of healthcare . . .

As the latest in a series of "final" and "most important" and "determinative" votes on healthcare approaches, this is timely:

Last fall, as swine flu cases mounted and parents desperately sought to protect their kids, the hard-to-get vaccine was handed out in some surprising places: the Royal Caribbean cruise line, the headquarters of drug giant Merck, the Johnson Space Center and a Department of Energy office in Idaho.

In some cases, financial institutions and other recipients got doses before some county health departments and doctors' offices, according to records obtained by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Also, even though the federal government spent more than $1.6 billion to manufacture and distribute the vaccine, there is no complete record of where it went.

. . . To be fair, at least 85 percent of the doses given in the first six weeks went to groups most at risk for flu complications - children and other young people, pregnant women and those with certain health problems, according to an estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Wall Street banks and cruise ship companies accounted for a tiny fraction of the 30,000 or so sites sent vaccine in those desperate early days.

In the government run battle against swine flu, "there is no complete record of where" "$1.6 billion to manufacture and distribute the vaccine" went, and approximately 15% of the first wave of vaccines went to insiders and the well connected ahead of those most in need.

Consider the swine flu program a test drive of Obamacare.

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