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Fast Take on the July 1, 2019, SB 276 Amendment

Fast Take on the July 1, 2019, SB 276 Amendment

Because of the press of other business, this is going to be short and quick.

The new amendment is at least as bad as the prior version, because it does not change the two main operative provisions, 1. All Exemptions are still reviewable and revocable by the health department if they do not comply with the established guidelines, and 2. Physicians who write exemptions beyond these guidelines will be reported to the Medical Board for prosecution.

here is the link to the current marked up bill.

Here are the key takeaway points:

All Exemptions (meaning exemptions under the new law and those given under SB 277) are still reviewable by the state and/or local department of health, but now they are reviewed by physicians or nurses. That is obviously intended to resolve the criticism that the bill did not specifically require physicians to make these important medical decisions. Including nurses, still doesn’t resolve the problem, in my opinion.

Physicians who write exemptions which do not comply with CDC, ACIP, or AAP guidelines will be contacted for additional support. (My view is that the health department will find insufficient support for any exemption inconsistent with the above guidelines)

The health department can revoke a medical exemption that does not meet the above guidelines, but as in the previous version, “family history” can be considered, in the department’s discretion. But as before, don’t expect that to mean anything other than what is in the guidelines.

There is now a more flushed-out appeal process involving a panel of medical doctors. But don’t expect any reversals of revocations of exemptions, because they are all reading from the same hymn book (the Pediatric Infectious Disease Red Book).

There are provisions about what happens to the child with a revoked exemption during the appeals process. There is a grace period, which is about the only good news in this version. It is too early to tell how long that grace period will last, but it ends when the appeal is denied, or possibly 30 days thereafter.

In short and obviously, this version does not resolve the concerns raised by the vaccine aware.

Rick Jaffe, Esq.