March 23, 2005
Senate Bill 3, introduced earlier this year, uses emotionally charged homeland security language to undermine state’s and individual’s rights and privacy protections while giving pharmaceutical companies comprehensive liability protection and millions in government grants and tax credits. The bill, entitled “Protecting America in the War on Terror Act of 2005,” contains many troubling provisions. If passed, S. 3 will
- nullify state laws related to the regulation of drugs and vaccines – thereby overturning existing laws banning mercury in vaccines and prohibiting any future state laws regulating drugs.
- Bar States from Warning Their Citizens about drug or vaccine safety issues if that warning is different than any federal information.
- gift drug and vaccine makers with a financial windfall through millions of dollars of grants and tax credits, fast-tracking vaccine approval, extension of patents and comprenensive liability protection.
- invade health privacy by establishing a national electronic surveillance program to collect and analyze a wide-range of your health data, including all data relating to “diseases, including vital records, registries, chronic diseases and maternal and child health data”
S.B. 3 has widespread support – partly because it also includes a popular provision to increase from $12,000 to $100,000 death benefits given to families of soldiers and servicemembers killed combat – a provision Members of Congress find hard to vote against.
Take Action Now – Send a letter to Congress and urge them to oppose S.B. 3
This is a critical alert. If allowed to pass – this bill will have far-reaching consequences.
You will not be able to turn to the states for health protection and warnings when the federal government is not listening. Mercury in vaccines is one important example where the federal government isn’t listening to individuals or the science. Consumers have already successfully passed bans on mercury in vaccines in Iowa and California and bills are pending in at least seven other states. Recent information about the dangers of Vioxx and other drugs make highlight the importance of having as many possible sources of information and recourse available to consumers.
(see www.nomercury.org to learn more)
Health privacy is a fundamental right and the national electronic surveillance system created in this bill, on top of other privacy gutting bills already enacted (see www.medicalprivacycoalition.org) make it impossible for you to keep the details of your health records private. Consumers will be wary of seeking medical attention if they do not trust their information will remain private – and this information in the wrong hands could jeopardize careers and health coverage, for example.
Support your health rights, your health privacy, full access to information and accountability for drug companies.
It is no secret that the pharmaceutical industry is the largest contributor to Congress and that there are almost two drug company lobbyists for every Member of Congress. This bill has the support of and is a major priority of some of the highest ranking and most influential Senators. The only way we will defeat this bill and sustain our health rights is if you and all of your friends, neighbors, family and colleagues take action today!
Take Action Now – Send a letter to Congress and urge them to oppose S.B. 3:
This Action Alert was created by Citizens for Health (www.citizens.org)