Monday, February 12, 2007

I fixed up grammatical errors, revised some sentences, changed some punctuation and sent my thoughts about Rick Perry and the HPV vaccine to the online version of the LBJ School of Public Affairs Journal. If you want to read the same thing in a different font, it's here.

A professor summoned me to her office after class this morning to discuss my research paper proposal. She asked why I disliked Rick Perry, too. I told her it wasn't so much a dislike as a lack-of-being-impressed; that I really did think it was bold of him to alienate the republican legislature, when his lack of formal executive power requires him to be on their good side if we wants anything done on his behalf; and that even if cervical cancer isn't public health scourge, it's still a cancer whose incidence can be reduced (conceding Meredith's point that there may well be more cost-effective ways of achieving the same goal).

My professor said, "Maybe he's running for vice-president."

She said he's been mentioned as a possible running mate. Does anyone have any thoughts on the possibility of Vice-President Rick Perry?


mark said...

I was watching News 8 Austin Saturday, and they went from Obama announcing his candidacy, to rumors about Perry possibly wanting to be Vice.

It was a shock to me, but I think it makes sense, considering his recent moves (the item on News 8 said he also is wanting to have somewhat of a State Healthcare plan, similar to the Massachusetts experiment...but I can't remember the details).

I'm pretty sour on him b/c he seems completely uncaring about the border problems.

Would be interesting though...but who would he fit with?? I can't really see him alongside McCain, Giuliani, or Romney...assuming they are the Republican frontrunners.

Dr. Cox said...

Oh really? The border "problems" are the only reason you're sour on him? That's interesting.

bryan h. said...


how do you define or perceive the border problem? (i ask because i can imagine quite a few, though i'm not well-versed in border politics?) by "uncaring" do you mean he appears indifferent, or highly punative?

mark said...

Because he seems indifferent.

I wasn't gonna vote for him anyways, but one of the top issues for me in the past gubernatorial race was stricter boarder enforcement.(I think it should be more of a federal issue, but I think the state should do what it can.)Sadly, none of the candidates seemed to take a firm stance, but Perry and Bell seemed the most uninterested.

It's just upsetting to me that Perry has seemed to turn a blind eye to the issue, besides sending about 2000 national guard in addition to the border patrol.

I know there is lots of blame to be passed around (Feds, employers, Mexico, the current legal immigration process) but it would be nice to see our Governor take a stronger stand.

And I understand it's an sensitive issue, and politicians feel vulnerable when they bring it up, but I think it's an issue that our local and state authorities shouldn't shy away from. I would even appreciate it if he just said "look, I'm not for stricter enforcement" just so we would know either way.

Especially with his new policies...the HPV vaccine and State Healthcare. Will illegals have access to these as well?

...sorry for the long comment :)

bryan h. said...

don't worry about it; long comments are just fine. but to address your question with another question, why shouldn't illegal immigrants have access to those things? they do, after all, pay taxes (even if they are paid cash, they still pay property and sales taxes, like the rest of us).

mark said...

Good point. Sales taxes and property are state, so if the benefit is state funded, then I would agree.

But that's just the tip of what I would see as the "border problem"...

There still lingers the problem of federal income taxes, wage decreases (b/c illegals will work for less), benefiting from federally funded programs, draining hospitals of expenses, non-assimilation (mainly language), leaving the border open for terrorists, the transfer of income - generated in the U.S. - being sent to Mexico (boosting their economy, not ours...) etc.

And even though this discussion is focused on Texas, the people of Arizona, New Mexico and California will attest to the non-payment of state income taxes by illegals, thus draining their state funded programs in addition the problems I listed above.

Stacy said...

Sorry to chime in late on this...
On the vaccine...only 4% of those tested in research studies were teen or preteen girls. I don't think this is Perry being noble, he's paying back the pharmaceutical companies who gave him money for his re-election campaign. The cost of the vaccine is well over $300 and as we know, not everyone in Texas has insurance or good insurance.
I guess I'm also curious as to why the vaccine is limited to the girls...why isn't there one that the boys can get?

bryan h. said...

hey stacy, thanks for writing; it's never too late.

there's every reason to think campaign contributions play a big role in Perry's decision. see, for instance, this:

even so, i still think it's a noble move. like it or not, pharmaceutical companies are an integral part of the public health system (and, like it or not, there's no indication that this involved anything illegal or corrupt). it looks and feels sleazy, but who else is going to develop things like vaccines and cholesterol-lowering medications (and maybe an eventual diabetes treatment)? in a sense, this points to a much larger debate on the role of non-governmental organizations, whether for- or non-profit, in government and public policy.

as to your last point, the vaccine is for preventing the strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer. there's a reasonable argument to be made that vaccinating boys also helps lower girls' risk (one of my classmates even thinks the state or federal supreme court may strike this law on the grounds that it violates the equal protection clause). on the other hand, that's a whole lot more public money going to Merck to vaccinate people who don't get the disease. HPV does have some relationship with anal cancer in boys and men, but that's a much, much rarer than cervical cancer, and there's no research showing the vaccine works against it.