I'm ashamed of myself: I completely missed this line of the state budget... or should I say, this erased line of the budget. The budget Governor Rounds signed yesterday eliminates the $300,000* the state had been giving to cut the cost of Gardasil, the vaccine against the cancer-causing human papillomavirus.
So let me see if I get this:
- Gardasil is the first cancer vaccine ever (says Dr. Maria Bell aptly points out).
- It could keep 25 South Dakota women each year from getting cervical cancer (and keep nine from dying).
- South Dakota can't find 40 cents per person to maintain this program.
- South Dakota can find 50 cents per person—$400,000—to subsidize the State Fair.
So why not this year? If he wants to restore this life-saving program—and he is a pro-life governor, so why wouldn't he?—all needs to do is take another creative look at those funds floating around in Pierre, just like last year, find that $300K, and let the Department of Health get back to saving women's lives.