All Americans must take a very close look at California’s SB 276, the third “vaccine” bill hard on the heels of California’s SB277 and AB2109 that were also pushed with complete voter and taxpayer disregard. The last time government and industry joined hand in hand to address “the vaccine issue” with comparable urgency and disdain of the democratic process, lawmakers granted pharmaceutical corporations extraordinary and unprecedented liability protections via the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. We are living the legacy of the 1986 Act: a rise in coercive, one-size-fits-all medicine; mounting challenges to personal religious practices and religious sincerity; an attack on parental rights; de facto federal and industry control of state health department vaccine policy implementation via CDC funding and its revolving door with industry; a three-fold increase in the childhood vaccine schedule; skyrocketing and shockingly costly private insurer and government entitlement programs covering vaccines; an explosion in chronic, autoimmune, and neuro-developmental disorders in children; and the most profound weakening and disaffection in the doctor (especially pediatrician)-patient relationship seen in modern history.
SB 276 says that the state decides who may obtain a medical vaccine exemption, not families working closely with their physicians. At its core, the law inserts government where it does not belong — practicing medicine; evaluating/overruling a physician’s informed, private, and confidential assessment of a child’s health status; and passing judgment on patient and physician ethics. It is an intrusive, shameful, and audacious abomination, deserving of massive voter disapproval, regardless of an individual’s opinions on childhood vaccines.
SB 276 is being introduced to voters to further protect public health by attacking “lying” parents and their physicians who unethically obtain medical vaccine exemptions. SB277 removed religious exemptions to vaccines. Many thousands of Californians traveled to Sacramento to oppose the bill, which only narrowly passed after besieged legislators assured parents that doctors would be allowed to exercise professional judgment and conscience when granting a medical vaccine exemption to children. Then Governor Jerry Brown acknowledged this uncomfortable government overreach in his SB277 signing letter and justified signing the bill into law because, “[SB 277], while requiring that school children be vaccinated, explicitly provides an exception when a physician believes that circumstances – in the judgement and sound discretion of the physician – so warrant.” The requirements that the exemption be certified under penalty of perjury and medical board scrutiny and review will deter doctors from writing legitimate, necessary medical exemptions.
State public health officials must not have the power to override the judgment of private physicians. SB 276 inappropriately places the granting or withholding of medical vaccine exemptions for patients in the hands of state employees, rather than in the hands of private physicians who personally care for patients. Doctors must be permitted to evaluate patient susceptibility to vaccine injuries, taking into consideration a variety of factors that cannot be legislated. SB 276 forces health care professionals to adhere to exceptionally narrow vaccine contraindications, which have been defined by government appointed officials working for the CDC, a public health agency. Doctors are so severely scrutinized and challenged for granting medical vaccine exemptions that, with precious few exceptions, most are concerned for their licenses and are no longer willing to grant them.
The federal government concedes that vaccine injury occurs and we do not understand when, why, or how. In Althen vs Secretary of Health and Human Services, the US Court of Appeals ruled that “the purpose of the Vaccine Act’s preponderance standard is to allow the finding of causation in a field bereft of complete and direct proof of how vaccines affect the human body.” Doctors must have the latitude to evaluate their patients and to grant medical exemptions when indicated. SB 276 will create unnecessary, intrusive, and costly State bureaucratic reviews of our private medical decisions and damage the integrity of the trusted, doctor-patient relationship.
SB 276 is bad public health law. This bill compromises the doctor-patient relationship, creates fear and distrust of public health officials and legislators, violates parental and informed consent rights, violates privacy rights by forcing the recording of medical exemptions into the state vaccine tracking system, and endangers the lives of children more susceptible to vaccine reactions for genetic, biological and environmental reasons that have not been fully identified by the federal government. These vulnerable children should not be punished by the state and denied a school education.
This bill is too costly financially and to our children in California. The fiscal impact will be heavy and also result in a significant loss in school average daily attendance dollars. Funding the implementation of this bill would result in precious dollars wasted because the bill is unnecessary. The California Medical Board has diligently investigated doctors that write medical exemptions but no fraud has been found. For any future suspicions of fraud, the California Medical Board already has procedures in place to investigate and, if necessary, discipline doctors. Why does Senator Pan feel it is necessary to have the State create a State bureaucracy and redundant procedures for something it already does via the California Medical Board?
Furthermore, SB 276 has too many unanswered questions to properly safeguard California citizens. To name a few, there is no outline of what can be considered when writing a medical exemption, the appeals process for a denial of a medical exemption is unclear, the breadth of the review process is unclear, and who can access the database is not detailed. The lack of detail when handling issues such as the privacy of our most medically-fragile California children and the trust between doctor and patient is unacceptable. It leaves the door open for unprecedented government overreach and breach of privacy.
Stand now by pressing “Take Action” to email your California lawmakers and Governor Newsom to ask them to Vote No on SB 276 becuase it is not California for all: California doesn’t do tracking databases, one-size-fits-all medicine is not precision medicine, and the bill has too many unanswered questions. After you send the email, you will be able to call your senators and assemblymen and women with specific talking points to show them that we are speaking with a unified voice.