House Bill 3063, that will remove all non-medical vaccine exemptions in Oregon, has been voted out of the Oregon House Health Care Committee and is now being heard by the Ways and Means Committee to consider the budgetary impact. Testimony will be heard in a session in Portland, Oregon on March 21 at 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
Portland Community College – Cascade
MAHB 104 Auditorium
5514 N. Albina Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97217
Please attend if possible and/or write to this list: http://bit.ly/waysandmeansportland. They will be taking public testimony and we encourage you to prepare a 2 minute statement. Even if you don’t want to testify, please come as your presence is valuable. Talking points and a “copy and paste” email list is provided below in the action alert.
Beyond this week, see what you can do ongoing.
This bill, and an added amendment, would not allow Oregon children to attend public schools, private schools, and charter schools unless they have had all vaccines listed on the Oregon Health Authority schedule. Broadly interpreted, the law could include exclusion form school sports programs, music programs, churches that have daycares, and after school clubs. So that means that even if a child was missing a single vaccine, they may not be allowed to attend a school play held after hours, or a church service on a Sunday if the church had a daycare on the premises that operated during the week.
Oregon has some of the strictest exclusion criteria when it comes to obtaining a medical exemption. They are as follows:
Severe Anaphylaxis or Encephalitis : DTaP, MMR, HIB, Hep B, HPV
Severe Immunodeficiency : MMR, Varicella
Intussusception : Rotavirus
As you can see, the list is very short and essentially requires that a child has responded adversely to a prior shot before qualifying for the exemption. Furthermore, it is Oregon Health Authority who has the final say in granting these exemptions, not your doctor.
There are about 31,500 children who have a non-medical vaccine exemption in Oregon. Schools in Oregon could lose up to 400 million dollars in revenue. This bill could cause over 6,000 children with an IEP to lose services. This bill could segregate children from extra curricular and sports activities due to their vaccine status.
Public testimony will be heard by the Ways and Means committee in a session in Portland, Oregon on March 21 at 5:30pm. Please attend if possible, whether or not you’d like to testify, and/or write to this list of members: http://bit.ly/waysandmeansportland. All the emails are here for you to cut and paste: http://bit.ly/copyemaillist
Let them know the financial impact to you and your family if this bill passes, ask them to consider how the state will deal with the loss of income they’ll incur, let them know that children will be pulled from school because there are thousands of parents that won’t be coerced to vaccinate. They will choose to homeschool, or leave the state, which will result in financial loss. Ask them to consider the cost involved to enforce this bill, the cost in increased public assistance, the cost to the work force, the impact on the real estate market if people choose to sell their homes and leave the state!
You may ask questions! Example:
How will you enforce whether unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children attend a school play or a sports event after hours if the bill is broadly interpreted? Would you have to hire people and equipment to check every child who attends? What about the parents, would you mandate that every single adult be vaccinated to attend the event? What if grandma visits from another state, is she blocked entry to the event? Do people have to share their medical history with school or hired staff? What about HIPAA? What kind of infrastructure will be necessary to create to enforce all this and at what cost?
Letter sent by a parent:
Subject: School Funding
Dear Ways and Means Committee,
Thank you for your time to hear my concerns on the financial aspects of House Bill 3063, the bill to remove religious and philosophical vaccine exemptions. I would like to respectfully ask if the state is ready to manage the financial implications that will entail with passing this bill? Upon examination, it is my opinion that this bill will create a significant financial burden for our state as I mention next.
As prioritizing K-12 education funding is one of the principles of this committee, what about the students who, under amendment 13, will be expelled from public school? The loss of education has been viewed as “an unintended consequence” of this bill. HB 3063 will dismiss over 31 thousand students from Oregon schools and the number is closer to 35 thousand including daycare and preschool. How will Oregon address the estimated loss of 188 million dollars in revenue to public schools? With the decrease in students, how many Oregon teachers will lose their jobs? Will this bill take away funds from the districts these students leave?
It is estimated 6,000 IEP students will be expelled. Will OHP take over the cost of providing those services as federal education dollars won’t be covering their services in public school anymore?
There may be mental health implications for the segregated students as they lose their friends, teachers, access to health services, free lunch, attending field trips, etc. How will the increased cost incurred by OHA for providing mental health services to these students be addressed?
For parents being held hostage between choosing daycare and education for their children, following their religious and philosophical beliefs or loss of income if one parent has to stay home with their children, how will the loss of parental income be addressed? As two income families go to one income, it will decrease state income tax and increase families qualifying for OHP, WIC and SNAP. How will this potential shift in revenue and expenses be managed?
What are the financial implications of enforcing this bill? What is the cost of the infrastructure necessary to police this bill and at what cost to the state? How will students be identified without it being a violation of HIPPA? This bill is listed as “emergency” and thus would go into effect immediately. Is the state ready to manage this immediately without time to prepare the infrastructure much less review the cost?
The right to medical freedom is on the line and if this bill passes, not only will there be significant consequences on the lives of so many children and their families, but on the financial stability of our state.
I urge you to please take the time to dig deep into the financial implications of this bill, and how it will impact our state.
Thank you for hearing my concerns.