Thursday, October 14, 2004

Misc. Debate Commentary
Re: Health Care

Mr. Bush stated that "we" stopped the bad flu vaccine from coming into the country.  That is incorrect.  The UK government revoked the license for the factory that makes it.  The USA had nothing to do with stopping the shipments. 

Even though bacterial contamination was first reported more than a month ago at a British flu vaccine factory, the Food and Drug Administration relied solely on the factory's owner for information on whether the problems were being resolved, the agency's acting commissioner said yesterday. The official, Lester M. Crawford, said the F.D.A. never called British regulators to talk about the problems at the Chiron Corporation's factory in Liverpool, even though the F.D.A. had routine communication with its British counterpart, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, on other matters. So the F.D.A. was caught by surprise when the British agency suspended the factory's license on Oct. 5, depriving the United States of nearly half the 100 million flu shots federal authorities expected to be used this winter.
During the most recent debate, Bush stated that we now are getting more vaccine from Canada.  In the prior debate, he said that importing drugs from Canada is not safe.  Mr. Bush said that government-run health care is bad.  After Kerry's rebuttal, Bush said that the care at the VA is very good:

We have a fundamental difference of opinion. I think government- run health will lead to poor-quality health, will lead to rationing, will lead to less choice.
Veterans are getting very good health care under my administration, and they will continue to do so during the next four years.
So, government-run health care is bad.  Unless it is good, that is.