It’s becoming a more familiar accusation in the increasingly politically-charged world of health care: the GOP, and other health care reform critics, want to know how the government can be trusted to run a “public option” insurance program when it can’t guarantee vaccinations for every American against H1N1 flu. The charge seems purely political at first glance, but there are questions about the flawed management, organization and distribution of the H1N1 vaccine. There’s not enough swine flu vaccine to go around and many Americans don’t trust the process. Did the government mess this up—and what does this mean for future, bigger pandemics?
Art Caplan, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Bioethics; professor of medical ethics at UPenn
Robin Cook, physician & novelist; author of “Outbreak” & in this month’s edition of Foreign Policy, “Plague: A Thriller of the Coming Pandemic”