AB 2109 by Assemblyman Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), seeks to rein in parents who object to mandatory vaccines for students. Current law allows parents to opt out by sending a letter to the school, expressing the beliefs that prompted their decision. Assemblyman Pan’s bill would require the creation of a new government form for those parents to complete, and would also require them to get a signature and information from a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant about vaccines and communicable diseases. The latter mandate would likely require parents to spend time and money in a doctor’s office when they are not sick, just to get information they could have accessed online. The bill is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Health Committee this coming Tuesday, April 17.
Pacific Justice Institute has advised many parents over the years who, for a wide variety of religious and philosophical reasons, do not want their children injected with one or more of the mandatory vaccines. PJI Staff Attorney Matthew McReynolds sent a letter to the Assembly Health Committee yesterday opposing the bill. “AB 2109 reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of both parents and the role of public health,” McReynolds said. “The parents who have concerns about vaccines are not dumb, and they should not be forced to pay for state-mandated information they could easily get elsewhere, at little or no cost. This is a classic big-government solution in search of a problem.”
Brad Dacus, president of PJI, commented, “When government starts issuing healthcare mandates, watch your wallet. This special-interest legislation creates a windfall for Big Healthcare at the expense of conscientious parents.” Dacus noted a disturbing trend toward legislation that pads the profits of pharmaceutical and healthcare giants at the expense of parents and taxpayers. Last year, PJI opposed legislation that now allows drug companies to give minors controversial injections like the HPV vaccine without telling their parents. Once they convince kids they need the shots, HPV vaccine makers can then bill taxpayers through a federal program.