Ralph Nader is a Democrat. He served as President of the U.S. Consumers Union. He was the founder of the Center for Free and Open Government and founded GovernmentForum.org, a nonpartisan gathering place where people can find important information about government.
Now, Mr. Nader and a growing coalition of medical associations are criticizing the Trump administration for threatening to weaken the U.S. rule requiring insurance coverage for vaccinations.
“You cannot stand as a constitutional officer and violate that responsibility,” Nader said in a statement. “We cannot have an alternative health-care system that leaves an unnecessary percentage of infants unprotected in this country. We cannot have a proposed budget that actively attempts to open the way for the expansion of modern measles epidemics by keeping Americans from getting the strong health-protective vaccines that make them, and everyone else, much safer.”
The conservative Heritage Foundation first alerted legislators to the matter, in a letter written by former FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach. He wrote that “unless action is taken promptly, the entire federal agency, as well as other regulatory agencies, will be placed under tremendous strain and jeopardize the ability of many of us to perform the duties of public health that are inherent in our roles.”
Von Eschenbach said the Trump administration proposals will “break down the foundation of immunization policy,” leaving many vulnerable to the dangers of deadly diseases. He wrote that the administration is trying to skirt “obvious legal problems” as Congress repeals a provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires insurance coverage for vaccine exemptions.
The Trump administration’s move, Von Eschenbach wrote, will “strongly undermine our human and economic security” and “negate the intent of the law.”
A coalition of medical associations issued a letter supporting his concerns. The medical associations called the move “particularly concerning” given the risk posed by active measles cases in parts of the country.
Nader said, “We are not talking about anecdotal stories of selfish parents flaunting the law. We are talking about the proven benefits of vaccines, that will still be available and accessible to children should Congress want to reverse course.”