The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, March 12, 2003  

They're At It Again

Eli Lilly & Co. and its Republican allies in Congress are at it again.

Wampum today reports that Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), the newly installed chairman of the Senate Health Committee, has introduced a bill, S 15, nobly entitled "The Biodefense Improvement and Treatment for America Act."

Sen Judd describes the measure as "a comprehensive piece of legislation that protects Americans from biological, chemical, nuclear, or radiological weapons attack."

According to Wampum's report, "It's Baaack…," the bill addresses government purchases of vaccines and compensation for those injured by smallpox inoculation. But the measure also calls for "improvements in the Vaccine Compensation Program making the program more responsive to children and families."

Details are still sketchy, but Wampum is correct in saying this has an awful ring of familiarity to it.

She asks, Is this another "get out of jail free" card for thimerosal manufacturer Eli Lilly? To be slipped again into a measure couched in terms of "homeland security"?

I wonder, Is there any muck in which the likes of these will not wallow?

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