Re: [asa] Re: [ASA] Mandatory HPV vaccination

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Wed Feb 07 2007 - 10:38:33 EST

Right, but the presence of an opt-out right can be a little misleading, in
that it involves some effort and cost to opt out, such that many will not do
so. This kind of regulation has been called "libertarian paternalism," and
it has generated an interesting debate the the behavioral law and economics
literature. See, e.g., here: (for a negative
view) and here: for a
positive one.

On 2/7/07, SKrogh <> wrote:
> It's not mandatory since you can opt out. Gov Perry explained while
> being interviewed at this time on WBAP in Dallas. So it is not really
> mandatory.
> =========================================
> -----Original Message-----
> *From:* []*On
> Behalf Of *Jack
> *Sent:* Wednesday, February 07, 2007 6:07 AM
> *To:*;
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] Re: [ASA] Mandatory HPV vaccination
> The vaccine costs $120 each for three injections over 6 months. Merck is
> in the position to make millions of dollars a year if all states mandate
> vaccinations. Various medical societies are recommending the vaccine, but
> not mandating it.
> So then Perry, a conservative Christian, who would seem to be someone
> opposed to mandating it, passes an excutive order to make it mandatory. It
> just so happens that his former chief of staff is now the lobbyist for
> Merck. Make of that whatever you will.
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:*
> *To:*
> *Sent:* Tuesday, February 06, 2007 10:44 PM
> *Subject:* [asa] Re: [ASA] Mandatory HPV vaccination
> David Opderbeck wrote:
> > I think the problem is the mandatory nature of this executive order.
> > Mandatory vaccinations for schoolchildren are appropriate for
> communicable
> > diseases that are transmitted by ordinary social contact. It seems very
> > different to me to require that kids be vaccinated against an STD. It
> does
> > seem like the kind of thing families should decide for themselves. I
> could
> > see maybe making state funding available for any family that chooses the
> > vaccine.
> Except it isn't mandatory. In Texas (and I think in all the other states
> where this is coming up), families can "opt out" if they want.
> A legitimate question that some have raised is the cost-benefit analysis.
> The vaccine is pretty expensive (a few hundred dollars as I recall). The
> cancer prevented, while certainly tragic, is not extremely common.
> So society is spending hundreds of thousands, or maybe millions, of dollars
> for each cancer prevented. What are the opportunity costs for that
> expense? If insurance is required to cover it, how much will premiums go up
> and how many people will go uninsured as a result?
> I'm not advocating any specific answer to these questions, but I think
> they need to be asked in such a situation.
> And one could point out that they are already making such a calculation to
> some extent by not requiring the vaccination for boys, although that would
> also prevent some cancers (albeit a much smaller number).
> The other legitimate question that people have raised is the active role
> of the company that owns the vaccine in lobbying for states to pass such
> laws.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Dr. Allan H. Harvey, Boulder, Colorado |
> "Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
> attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cat"

David W. Opderbeck
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Received on Wed Feb 7 10:38:57 2007

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