The suffix "-gate" is used to signify scandal (see Travelgate, Climategate, Weinergate). In similar fashion, "-care" is becoming the suffix of choice for criticizing healthcare policy decisions. First there was Obamacare, then Romneycare (also known as Obamneycare). Now, Michele Bachmann is criticizing "Perrycare."
In a no-frills video with strangely poor audio quality, the Republican presidential candidate and Minnesota representative and takes aim at Texas Gov. Rick Perry's 2007 executive order mandating that sixth-grade girls receive the vaccine against HPV (the legislature later blocked the vaccination program from taking place). "Whether it's Obamacare or whether it's Perrycare, I oppose any governor or president who mandates a family's healthcare choices and in turn violates the rights of parents on these issues, especially if the decision-making process occurs behind closed doors, bypassing legislative action, and instead favors campaign contributors over the rights of families," she tells the camera.
Bachmann attacked Perry for that executive order in this week's Tea Party debate, and also linked the order to the governor's ties to and contributions from Merck, which manufactures the vaccine. "The question is, is it about life, or was it about millions of dollars and potentially billions for a drug company?" she asked Perry.
The video escalates the battle between the two candidates over the vaccine. Interestingly, however, the most damaging blow Bachmann has sustained in the fight was self-inflicted, when she made comments linking the vaccine to mental retardation. The medical community has responded with strong criticism. O. Marion Burton, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, released a statement countering Bachmann's claims: "The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made in the Republican presidential campaign that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation. There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement."