Colorado is One Step Closer to Losing Medical Exemptions for Vaccines


Thousands of Coloradans headed to the state capitol on Monday to make their voices heard on House Bill19-1312 a bill aimed at increasing vaccination rates in Colorado by eliminating most medical exemptions and forcing parents to appear before the State Health Department in order to obtain their religious exemptions. It appears that this showing broke the record for longest testimony. The hearing lasted more than thirteen hours and over 575 people testified, overwhelmingly in opposition to this bill. The committee chairwoman, bill sponsor, and GSK lobbyist catered to the “experts” in every way, with reserved seating, priority to testify in panels, and unwavering trust in their opinions that dismissed risk and injury. 

13 Hours of Testimony. Unprecedented Opposition from Parents. Vaccine Exemption Bill Passes. #RiseUp JOIN Colorado Health Choice Alliance 

Obvious priority seating for lobbyist and supporters while mothers and fathers of vaccine injured children were forced to wait in the VERY hot, crowded hall for over an hour, just to get into the hearing, (575 people signed up to testify on this bill that was scheduled for 1:30, didn't start until 2:30pm), the more elite, privileged people in favor of the bill did not have to stand crammed in a hall for an hour, hoping for a seat in the main hearing room. 

They had never had so many people show up that there wasn't room for everyone, even with an overflow room. They opened a 2nd overflow room and then opened the house floor to allow people a place to at least hear audio. As the hours passed, children were sleeping on the Capitol's floor because the committee refused to prioritize testimony. Never mind that the order you signed up in or time you arrived had no bearing on the time you were called to testify. Never mind that some people had small children (some vaccine injured/special needs) who require special care. Never mind that some lived 3 hours away and had already been waiting 12 hours to testify. Many parents refused to leave until they testified. Some had no choice but to leave without their voice being heard.

Reserved, preferred seating, awaiting only those in favor of the bill.

Those testifying in support of the bill got to come in and take their reserved seats once the Chair of the Committee entered and started the hearing. Is this true?  Here's a picture of the reserved area for supporters. Is this how Colorado should fairly treat its taxpayers? Colorado General Assembly should have no #bias or discrimination... WHO SAT IN THESE SEATS AND WHY?

Those testifying in support of the bill were deemed "more important" because they were from BigPharma, vaccine researchers, and doctors.  Or maybe they were also "just parents" supporting the bill, like this group of parents: Colorado Parents for Vaccinated Communities, "an organization of Colorado parents who support pro-science vaccine policy" who just happen to also have BigPharma support. 

Either way, to the "non-reserved seating" parents and their children who were mocked, who were accused of being misinformed, and "not having a life",  who paid for parking, sat for MANY hours to share 2 minutes of your life story, I am embarrassed by your treatment.  I am a parent of fully vaccinated children and my heart goes out to each of you. Thank you for your testimony.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, April 16th (around 4:30 am to be exact), the House Health and Insurance Committee passed HB 19-1312 out of committee on a party line vote – 7 Democrats voted yes, 4 Republicans voted no. 

It's also interesting that the LAST person to testify was asked to clear up misinformation from testimony of these Colorado parents and professionals who testified against the bill. You can listen to the 4/15/19 bill testimony here

'Of everything you have heard today, can you tell us what is misinformation?' There was a mass audible groan from the audience.This was biased from the start, but they could not overcome our numbers or our tenacity. There were still 70 people present at 1:30 am. Many of us stayed until the end.

Testimony of Dr. Jessica Cataldi, from Children's Hospital whose research focuses on global vaccine health [sub-saharan Africa] begins around the 12hour 19 minute mark.  She mentions Kaiser more than once.  

It's too bad she didn't mention any published, peer reviewed studies on injury or infant mortality linked to vaccines.
Whether you are pro or anti vaccine, there is certainly a need to share balanced information. Here are just a few links that Dr. Cataldi could have mentioned:


Why, if this bill is not meant to be coercive, or discriminatory, were these amendments killed?

The TRUE intentions of what this bill seeks to do were exposed in the amendment process. Every amendment offered by a Republican, such as excluding home schoolers, removing compelled speech from the forms, including RISKS in addition to benefits in the education materials to provide true informed consent, and preventing parents from physically having to go to the health department, was shot down.

You can listen to the amendments portion of the HB1312 hearing at the 12 hour 42 minute mark.  See all amendments here and see lost amendments below.   Federal law says vaccines must come with proper warning and product information  --yet an amendment asking for this was killed.  Curious?

Failed amendments to HB1312:

The information presented those opposed to the bill was some of the most amazing testimony ever heard in Colorado. Here is a summary of HB19-1312 Concerns:

1. It removes legislative and stakeholder power over vaccine decisions in Colorado and gives them 100% over to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE.) This bill allows CDPHE to add any vaccine at any time and on any timetable to the mandatory vaccinations for school entry.

“What this bill is doing is completely eliminating our rights as Coloradoans to make the very personal and profound choice of what gets injected into our bodies and our children bodies,” said Phil Silberman, President of Colorado Health Choice Alliance said


2. This bill adds 4 vaccines, and doubles the dosages of vaccines given, for Colorado students. One of those vaccines, the meningococcal vaccine, was not added to the Colorado vaccine schedule because stakeholders decided that the benefits of the vaccine did not outweigh the costs and possible side effects of said vaccine. 

The Flu vaccine and the HPV vaccine, both highly controversial, will also become mandatory for Colorado Students. The addition of those vaccines will cause exemption rates in Colorado to increase, rather than decreasing exemptions in Colorado, which is the purported purpose of this bill. The fiscal note says it will not cost the State anything to support this bill, and yet the fact that exemptions will increase is not being considered in that notice. Here is a link to the fiscal note: https://leg.colorado.gov/.../bills/fn/2019a_hb1312_00.pdf

3. This bill is being promoted as not changing any of the exemptions, which is a blatant falsehood. Currently, the medical exemption in Colorado requires only the doctor’s discretion. This bill says that CDPHE must promulgate the rules of the ACIP (Advisory Board of Immunization Practices) for medical exemptions (again, this is outlined in the Fiscal note linked above.) The scope of those rules is so narrow that they don’t even include the manufacturer’s recommendations on contra-indications for vaccines. 

My family is currently part of the .2% of Coloradans that have a medical exemption. If this bill passes it will nullify my medical exemption as well as the 3 other people I know of that have them. My children are the ones this bill seeks to protect—those that can’t be vaccinated—and yet this bill removes that protection from my family. This bill MUST be amended to insure that ME’s are purely at the discretion of the doctor, and that CDPHE cannot refuse a doctor’s exemption, nor can they punish the doctor in any way for giving that exemption. 


This bill restricts doctors to writing exemptions based ONLY on guidelines as described by CDC, ACIP, HHS, and any successor entity.  It voids the current immunization law that allows doctors to write exemptions based upon (quote) sound medical practice. It literally strikes through 'sound medical practice'.


4. Representative Mullica has repeatedly said that this bill will not effect home schoolers. He did not understand that Colorado State Law requires home schoolers to follow the same requirements as public school children when it comes to vaccination. When he was offered to back up his words with action, he refused to add an amendment that would exclude home schoolers from this bill. We are a homeschooling family. So now not only is my medical exemption being removed, but homeschooling also does not protect us from this industry overreach.

5. Children's names are added to a non-compliance tracking system. This bill is discriminatory against a small minority. Only 2.6% of Coloradans currently use exemptions from vaccines. 

Some use those exemptions so they can follow a delayed vaccine schedule. Some use those exemptions to skip one vaccine, like the hepatitis vaccine given on the first day of life. Some use it for the chicken pox vaccine because it is not a deadly disease and they feel it isn’t necessary. Only a very few use it for all vaccines. 

And yet, each person using an exemption will have to have their names and identifying information, as well as private medical information on their children, reported to CDPHE. The bill makes it clear that they can opt out of the database, and yet because they must turn in the information to CDPHE, that information is still on file. Meanwhile, those who fully vaccinate on the designated schedule will still have the protection FERPA rules provide. We are singling out a tiny minority for a government database. That is the very definition of discrimination.

6. This bill requires that all parents choosing to file an exemption must fill out a state mandated form. In the past, forms produced by CDPHE used compelled speech in their wording. Lawsuits were brought against them. We have not seen these forms and have no idea what Colorado parents will be forced to sign. In the past these forms accused parents of neglect and putting their children and others in harms way. No parent can be expected to sign a form implicating themselves in neglect. How can we put a bill into law when we don’t even know exactly what it’s asking constituents to do?

7. Colorado is a Health Freedom State—it is part of our constitution. How can we claim to be for health freedom and then threaten parents with government databases and compelled speech?

8. This bill requires CDPHE to create educational materials on the benefits of vaccination. That is against the rules of informed consent. No medical procedure is safe for everyone, and vaccines have been proven to cause innumerable adverse reactions, including death. While proponents will tell you that severe adverse reactions are 1 in a million, there is absolutely no data backing up that statistic. The only government database tracking vaccine reactions, VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) has only a 1% reporting rate according to an HHS funded study by Harvard. Here’s that study: https://healthit.ahrq.gov/.../r18hs017045-lazarus-final.... Furthermore, FOIA requests have proven that not a single, double-blind, inert-placebo controlled study has ever been done pre-licensure for any of the 16 vaccines on the current childhood schedule. Here is that report: https://icandecide.org/hhs/ICAN-Reply.pdf
That means we have no true safety studies and the tracking system put into place when vaccine manufacturers were given immunity to all liability in 1986 in order to protect consumers does not work. Parents deserve informed consent, not just a highlight of benefits.

I am a parent of a vaccine-injured child, an Autism warrior named Brecken. Brecken currently has a medical exemption from vaccines that she would no longer qualify for if HB 1312 passes. For those who don't believe that vaccine injury is possible, I understand your perspective, because I used to think that was preposterous myself. At first, I was in denial and refused to believe what my gut and my knowledge of science was telling me. But you didn't see the block we saw in Brecken's stool the same day she was immunized. You didn't endure the piercing unhuman shriek of encephalitis. You didn't experience the confusion we felt when seh lost her vocabulary and fine motor skills. You weren't with us any of the times we've had to follow Flight for Life helicopter carrying our daughter to Children's Hospital. If Brecken could share her story, she would warn you that a small but significant segment of our population is at risk of vaccine injury. And that segment will continue to grow each time we add uncontrolled variables to the dangerous game of Russian Roulette we are playing with our children's lives. 



9. Vaccines are the ONLY product on the market that are liability-free. What happens if there is a manufacturer contamination or bad lot and our tracking system doesn’t catch it? Why is the Colorado State Legislature acting as the marketing arm of a for-profit company with no liability and no true safety studies? And why aren’t more people concerned about holding pharmaceutical companies liable for their product? We are talking about an industry that has repeatedly been convicted of criminal behavior and yet we trust them with our children so much that we will mandate the only liability-free product they make. How do we insure consumer protection?

Exemption Bill Lead by Lobbyist

Also interesting is how often Rep Mullica stepped out, reportedly disappearing for sometimes 20 minutes at a time; during parent testimony, he's seen in the hall apparently consulting with lobbyists like Sundari Kraft https://twitter.com/sundarikraft.

Gee, Sundari Kraft has some interesting clients: some of them are the SAME as the ones supporting the pro-vaccine parent group. In fact, Sundari Kraft is listed as Colorado Parents for Vaccinated Communities'  client.  Huh, how did they afford that? 

Colorado Secretary of State Lobbyist ID 
20145030896 Sundari Kraft (Ascent Strategies, LLC)
20145030896 Sundari Kraft (Ascent Strategies, LLC)  
20145030896 Sundari Kraft (Ascent Strategies, LLC)  


https://www.sos.state.co.us/lobby/ViewPrincipalResults.do?registrationId=20185026730&lobbyistId=20145030896


It's not about parents, children, and taxpayers. It's about power and control:  who has it and who doesn't.  #Rise Up Colorado.

Ignoring 700 representative parents of vaccine injury (a tenfold increase since the 70 who testified in 2014) is no longer viable. This was an excellent dress rehearsal for the Senate. Don’t let these tired tactics discourage you. Yes, let’s play the long game. 

Pam Long Board Member of Colorado Health Choice Alliance

JOIN Colorado Health Choice Alliance 

Please go sign this--this is a Colorado Senator on our side:

Good afternoon,

Thank you for emailing me about your opposition to HB19-1312. I too oppose, and will vote against the bill.This bill is a powerful example of government overreach. The government should not be able to eliminate our rights to choose as parents. I am working to build this petition to show how many Coloradans are adamantly opposed to politicians undermining our rights. Will you please help us get the word out and fight this bill? I will be presenting a list of everyone objected in the Senate when we hear the bill, maybe as soon as tomorrow! Please add your name to the list. 

In order to make our voice as strong as possible please also forward this on to as many people as you can at church, school, your neighborhood, etc. The more signatures we have, the stronger our voices will be. 

PETITION

Again, thanks for helping fight this bill.

Warmly,

Owen

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