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Opinion: HB 2009, Republicans must choose: Parents and children or the health care industrial complex

If we have learned anything these last two years, it’s that the Health care Industrial Complex (HIC) has way too much power and influence on public policy.

Now we’re learning that some Missouri Republicans are afraid to put them in their place.

It’s common knowledge that the pandemic policy the HIC has perpetrated on us did much more damage than good. For example, the one-size-fits-all COVID-19 protocols were a dismal failure, but that’s what the federal government paid hospitals handsomely to follow.

There is nothing wrong with a profit motive, but when you combine a profit motive with the ready access to — or control of — the purse and sword of government, you end up with what historians call “mercantilism” (aka, corporatism or even fascism), the very thing the founding fathers fought King George III over. (Think “East India Trading Company.”)

The same Health care Industrial Complex that fought so hard for Obamacare and the resulting consolidation of practically everything related to health care, brought us stay-at-home orders, business closures, mask mandates, and vaccine mandates.

Republicans should hate what these people stand for and the liberty-stealing havoc they have wreaked.

Indeed, House Majority Floor Leader Dean Plocher gave a heart-rending speech about the injustice the Health care Industrial Complex perpetrated on his family when his father-in-law lay dying alone in a hospital bed.

But the legislative response to the tyranny has been lame as too many Republican officeholders kowtow to organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Official AAP policy is virtually the antithesis of Republican values. For instance, AAP opposes any laws that prevent medical assistance for sex-change procedures for minor children or prohibits biological males from participating in girls’ sports or using girls’ restrooms and locker rooms.

And AAP wants to eliminate religious exemptions for vaccine mandates, and it is pushing the COVID vaccine for children from 5-11 years of age.

Now the AAP is leading the opposition against HB 2009, a common-sense bill that would reinstate the legislative oversight of childhood vaccine mandates. Ever since the Carnahan administration, the Department of Health and Senior Services has claimed the authority to add to the statutory list of mandated childhood vaccines.

HB 2009 would also put an end to local health departments’ harassing of parents seeking to use the existing religious exemption and would bring statutes into compliance with the Constitution, which respects matters of conscience. The bill would also prevent parents who choose a religious exemption to mandated vaccines from being threatened with child neglect for their choice.

As the 46 cosponsors no doubt agree, HB 2009 is one of the most basic parents’ rights bill of the session. Republicans should choose to protect liberty rather than carry the water for organizations whose values are diametrically opposed to their constituents and their party’s core values.