Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently warned there could be an epidemic of measles spreading across the U.S., thanks in a large part to people who refuse to get themselves or their children vaccinated.
Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano recently claimed on the conspiracy website WorldNet Daily Republicans Sen. Rand Paul and Gov. Chris Christie were right about allowing parents to choose whether or not to have their children vaccinated.
Napolitano also offered his opinion about possible consequences of requiring people to be vaccinated:
"Under our Constitution, the states, and not the federal government, are the guardians of public health. That is an area of governance not delegated by the states to the feds. Of course, you’d never know this to listen to the debate today in which Big Government politicians, confident in the science, want a one-size-fits-all regimen.
“...[I]f the government owns our bodies, then the presumption of individual liberty guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution has been surreptitiously discarded, and there will be no limit to what the government can compel us to do or to what it can extract from us — in the name of science or any other of its modern-day gods."
But there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that prohibits the federal government from having a say in health matters. From Medicaid to federal quarantines to the Food and Drug Administration's approval of medications, the federal government has long played a role in the health of Americans. Courts routinely force people against their will to provide blood and DNA samples.
People whose immune systems are weakened — including cancer and AIDS patients — are at risk from people who choose not be vaccinated, reported The New York Times. "At especially high risk for the measles are infants between the ages of 6 and 12 months, who are too young to get the vaccine," noted PBS.
Napolitano, who claims to oppose the government's interference on people's bodies, told Reason.com in 2005 that women should be prohibited — by the government — from having an abortion.