Doctors reject health powers act

Doctors reject health powers act

By Joe Baker

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

The American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, representing private physicians, has sent a letter to President Bush opposing the Model States Emergency Health Powers Act.

The letter states: “We are writing to voice our opposition to the Model States Emergency Health Powers Act (MEHPA) drafted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and being sent to state legislatures with a recommendation for passage.” Illinois is one of the states considering this proposed law.

It continues: “…this bill would give public health officials and governors sweeping new authority to quarantine and vaccinate individuals. Moreover, the proposal allows government authorities to ration and commandeer drugs and other items, including firearms and private property. And yet, what constitutes a real or possible “emergency” is left subject to wide interpretation, leaving the governors (with) little or no accountability.”

The doctors’ group said the health powers bill is so alarming that many state legislators are publicly voicing opposition to it. They said the biggest bipartisan organization of state lawmakers, the American Legislative Exchange Council, has published a number of articles expressing its members’ concerns.

The physicians asked President Bush to halt efforts to pass this bill and to not furnish federal funds to implement it.

The physician group is located at 601 N. Tucson Blvd., Suite 9, Tucson, AZ 85716. A handful of states have adopted the health powers act and approximately 34 others are considering it. Only Mississippi has flatly rejected it.

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