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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-05 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #48
56. Ideology subverting Science in US Department of Health and Human Services
Edited on Fri Apr-01-05 01:27 PM by seemslikeadream
Ideology subverting Science in US Department of Health and Human Services

21 October - Washington DC - 12 US Members of Congress express Concern over Ideology subverting Science in US Department of Health and Human Services
Twelve leading members of the US congress have written to Tommy Thompson, US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HSS) over what they perceive as ideology subverting scientific decision-making in the HSS. The members of Congress claim that over the past few months, a series of troubling reports have demonstrated that scientific information is being removed from government hosted websites and being replaced by faith-based information. In addition, they point to key nominations in the Food and Drug Administration as being based on the candidate's ideological beliefs and the use of financial audits to harass NGOs which do not adhere to the Administration's ideological point of view. They have requested precise clarification on all these points from the Secretary.

Tommy Thompson Stacks CDC For Lead Industry
Email 8oct02

For the first time ever, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson, has overruled the nominations of the CDC staff for membership on the CDC Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention (ACCLPP). Instead, Secretary Thompson has named his own appointees, including several people with close lead industry connections. The rejected nominations include Dr. Michael Weitzman, Pediatrician in Chief at Rochester General Hospital; Dr. Bruce Lanphear, Sloan Professor of Children's Environmental Health at the University of Cincinnati; and Dr. Susan Klitzman, Associate Professor of Urban Public Health at Hunter College.

Historically the ACCLPP has provided science-based advice to inform CDC's policies to prevent lead poisoning and it has been instrumental in setting federal lead poisoning screening and prevention policies. The committee has always included subject-matter experts, researchers, and public health practitioners.

Secretary Thompson's appointees include several people who work directly for the lead industry. Dr. William Banner is a witness for the lead industry in the Rhode Island trial against lead paint manufacturers. In his deposition, he testified that blood lead levels between 70 and 100 do not pose a risk to children's health. Dr. Joyce Tsuji is a consultant whose corporate clients include ASARCO, DuPont, and King & Spaulding, a law firm representing several lead companies. She testified for industry in a class action lawsuit disputing the need for medical monitoring in the vicinity of a lead smelter. Dr. Kimberly Thompson is affiliated with the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis whose funders include 2 defendants in the Rhode Island case and 22 other companies that have released lead in the environment.

Rep. Edward Markey, Rep. Eddie Bernice-Johnson, and Rep. Waxman have written to Secretary Thompson opposing the unprecedented effort to stack the scientific advisory board with candidates with financial ties to the lead industry. Several scientists joined the Representatives in a news conference on October 8 to emphasize the importance of independent scientific advisors.

Model Emergency Health Powers Act (MEHPA) Turns Governors into Dictators

HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson is urging State legislatures to adopt the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act, prepared by the Center for Law and the Public's Health at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This Act grants unprecedented and unchecked powers to the Governors of the 50 States. It can be downloaded from .

It is likely that HHS will tie passage of the Act to billions of dollars in federal funding: the usual method of bribery/coercion to get States to pass legislation that would otherwise never be considered.

Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation said: "Tommy Thompson, whom I have considered a friend for thirty years, should be ashamed of himself for advocating this kind of Big Brother legislation. This is not the Tommy Thompson we knew as a four-term governor of Wisconsin."

HHS is using the 9/11 emergency as a pretext to rush passage of an Act that has been in the works for more than a year. Its main author, Lawrence O. Gostin, was a member of Clinton's Task Force on Health Care Reform, whose secret documents were exposed to public view as a result of the AAPS lawsuit (AAPS et al v. Hillary Rodham Clinton et al.)

He was a member of Working Group 17, Bioethics, of Cluster V, The Ethical Foundations of the New System, and also a member of the informal group promoting Single Payer. It is odd that Tommy Thompson should be urging adoption of a plan originating with the most extremist left wing of Clinton's Health Care Task Force.

This legislation is a serious threat to our civil liberties. Indeed, "this law treats American citizens as if they were the enemy," stated George Annas, chairman of the Health Law Department at the Boston University School of Public Health (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/25/01). It must be exposed to the light of day in the next month and a half.

"If protests are sufficient and if conservative legislators in state legislatures are properly alerted, perhaps there is a chance to beat back this monster," Weyrich said

HHS Secretary "Tommy" Thompson Needs to Be Told to Spend More Time with His Family
Didn't see the cost estimate until Christmas? Could a Cabinet Secretary possibly be so incurious? Didn't even try to control what his subordinates were doing? Could a Cabinet Secretary possibly be so self-effacing? - White House Backs HHS Probe of Medicare-Bill Cost Estimate: ...the matter has taken on a new life because the administration projected in the budget it submitted to Congress last month that the 10-year cost of the bill would be $534 billion, instead of $395 billion estimate used in writing the legislation. Mr. Foster estimated in June that a version similar to what became law would cost $551 billion, according to a document subsequently obtained and released by House of Representatives Democrats.

"There seems to be a cloud over this department because of this. We have nothing to hide, so I want to make darn sure everything comes out," Mr. Thompson said.... Mr. Thompson said administration officials made clear that their financial assumptions about the legislation led to higher estimates. But he said he didn't see the final cost estimate until just before Christmas, a few weeks after President Bush signed the Medicare law.

Mr. Thompson said he never instructed Mr. Scully to prevent Mr. Foster from sharing his higher cost estimates with lawmakers, some of whom had said they wouldn't vote for legislation that cost more than $400 billion over 10 years.... The secretary placed much of the responsibility for the controversy on Mr. Scully, a voluble lawyer and former hospital trade-association executive known for his quick wit and sometimes impulsive comments. Mr. Thompson said he should have exercised more control over Mr. Scully. "But all of you know Tom Scully. Do you think that's possible?" Mr. Thompson said...

The Tommy Thompson Myth: Thompson as Moderate
Despite his promise to present a "compassionate conservative" administration, George W. Bush has appointed overwhelmingly right-wing ideologues to his cabinet, not the least of which is Tommy Thompson, now Secretary of Health and Human Services, formerly Governor of Wisconsin. The Department of Health and Human Services directly affects women's health and reproductive services.

Thompson has made his reputation within the Republican Party as a moderate, but a look at his activities while Governor of Wisconsin shows otherwise.

Tommy Thompson has a record of anti-choice, anti-women activity. In 1997, he signed a far-reaching Wisconsin law that declared that fetus was a human being from the time of conception, and described abortion as a procedure meant to "kill a child." Supposedly, this was a so-called "partial birth" abortion ban, but in reality it applied to all abortions in the state. Mandatory life imprisonment was the penalty that doctors risked for performing any abortion - even in the first trimester - and women were leaving the state to get abortions. The law ultimately was declared unconstitutional.

Additionally, Thompson signed legislation prohibiting insurance provided through the Private Employer Health Care Purchasing Alliance (a voluntary program for private employers) from covering abortion services with only very narrow exemptions. He has signed legislation both requiring a 24-hour waiting period and a provision that women receive in-person, biased counseling that referred to an "unborn child." He has opposed clinic safety "buffer zones" that require demonstrators to stay at least 15 feet away from women's clinic entrances.

As Secretary of HHS, Thompson has vowed to take a "second look" at and review the FDA-approved RU-486, hoping to get FDA approval rescinded. RU 486 is a medical abortion for early pregnancies which has been used in Europe for many years, and which succeeded in American clinical trials and was released last year, giving women a nonsurgical option for ending early pregnancies. It is part of right-wing, anti-choice rhetoric that RU 486 has "dangers" to women in it, a claim not borne out by recent American or European clinical trials. According to Senator Hillary Clinton, "the evidence of the efficacy and safety of RU 486 is convincing, and I would be very concerned if a decision were made on political grounds instead of on medical or scientific grounds." Thompson's bias against RU 486 is shaped by his long-standing anti-choice attitude, not his concern for women's safety
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