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Vaccines and the state children's health insurance program

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I've really been enjoying reading posts on this board over the last few months and am so glad I've found it!  I really appreciate all of the thoughtful and thorough feedback the members give - thanks!  I've been immersed in all things vaccinations since I was pregnant with my now 7-month-old daughter.  I started with the Dr. Sears book - after which I decided to delay vaccines.  From there, I've read numerous articles, websites, forums, books (now on What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Childhood Vaccines by S. Cave,) etc and met with my daughters ND (who, coincidentily, is a Mothering.com expert!)  We have a family history of lots of auto immune issues (Rheumatoid, Fibromyalgia, MS, significant allergies, asthma, etc. and my brother is on the spectrum. After all of this, I think we will probably not vaccinate at all (and certainly not this first year,) but I will carefully consider each option as it comes up. We were living in Portland, OR, where access to ND's and understanding Peds was plentiful.  Right now, due to my husband's work in L.A. and my mother's illness (I'm here taking care of her,) I'm temporarily living in Louisiana with my daughter, where the access is practically nil.  To complicate matters, we had to give up the health insurance we had through my job (I'm on a leave of absence right now) and the insurance we can get through my husband's job is an HMO and won't work here.  We can't begin to avoid private insurance, so I've applied for the state health insurance program for my daughter. We are awaiting a decision, but our current insurance ends at the end of Nov.  I just checked the NVIC website for exemption information out of curiosity and wandered upon a bit of information that has me very concerned: 

 

For Louisiana it says: "Only medical and religious exemptions will be allowed for compliance with regulations concerning public assistance recipients."  I couldn't find anything on what the regulations concerning public assistance recipients actually is.

 

Does anyone know what this means?  Does this mean that if she is in the state insurance program, I will need an exemption for her not to be vaccinated?  If so, what does it take to get a "medical" exemption?  Which religions work for the exemption?  Has anyone had experience with this? 

 

We only need the insurance for about 6-8 months - until we move either back to Oregon or to L.A., so I hope that if there is a requirement, I'd be able to delay/stall long enough to get me through it.  I have a very low opinion of allopathic medicine anyway - I really only need the insurance for accidents/emergencies/major illnesses and am afraid to go "uncovered."

post #2 of 6

yes you will most likely need an exemption, as states are now on the bandwagon of harrassing parents about vaccinating and denying programs to them based on vax status...any religion works for the exemption, since no state can tell a person what their beliefs should be.  Just tell the worker you are exempt from vaccines for religious reasons.  Give/show her the form, and that should be enough.  Some states actually try to bully parents by telling them they'll get NO services or resources until their child is in vaccine compliance.  Make sure your worker doesn't try to lie to you about it too.  

 

 

Quote:
Does anyone know what this means?  Does this mean that if she is in the state insurance program, I will need an exemption for her not to be vaccinated?  If so, what does it take to get a "medical" exemption?  Which religions work for the exemption?  Has anyone had experience with this? 
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmy526 View Post

yes you will most likely need an exemption, as states are now on the bandwagon of harrassing parents about vaccinating and denying programs to them based on vax status...any religion works for the exemption, since no state can tell a person what their beliefs should be.  Just tell the worker you are exempt from vaccines for religious reasons.  Give/show her the form, and that should be enough.  Some states actually try to bully parents by telling them they'll get NO services or resources until their child is in vaccine compliance.  Make sure your worker doesn't try to lie to you about it too.  

 

 


Thank you for the help.  I did later find on the website where it said, "The secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services and the secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals shall require each recipient of public assistance of the programs described herein or his parent or guardian to present to the appropriate local agency issuing the public assistance sufficient evidence of immunity or immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases according to a schedule promulgated by rule by the office of public health of the Department of Health and Hospitals." So, I think she would fall under this.

 

It also says, "No person shall be required to comply with the provisions of this Section if that person or his parent or guardian submits a written statement from a physician stating that the immunization procedure is contraindicated for medical reasons or if the person or his parent or guardian objects to the procedure on religious grounds."

 

Ethically, I'd be in a better position to defend my position on medical grounds vs. religious grounds.  Anyone know how strict they tend to be on the medical exemption?  I'm wondering if a letter from her ND in Oregon would suffice (regarding the family history of auto immune disorders and her dad's egg allergy and her subsequent recommendation to delay vaccines.) 

post #4 of 6

Somehow, i doubt a letter from an ND will suffice as it's not an MD, and an out of state ND at that will most likely not fly with DSS...medical exemptions are extremely hard to get from MD's,  as drs deny there is any correlation between genetics and vaccine reaction disposition.   I have heard so many stories from parents who's child passed away either within hours or within a couple days after vaccination, and there was nothing but denial all the way around about the vaccine that caused the death.  It certainly wasn't the vaccines that killed the healthy baby--there must have been some underlying condition we didnt' know about, or an allergy to the ingredients we didn't know about--that is usually the standard answer.   

post #5 of 6
I hate to sound dramatic, but in your shoes, I honestly wouldn't attempt a medical exemption without an attorney. State health departments can and do deny medical exemptions written and signed by mainstream MDs. Unless you 100% believe that there is no higher power whatsoever, you may still qualify for a religious exemption and, in my mind, be ethically justified in doing so. I'll have to track down some links, but I know that federal law has a broad enough definition of religious beliefs to allow you to act on your conscience. (LA might try to be stricter, though). Your best bet would be to contact other Louisiana mamas who claim exemptions. Have you posted in the Tribal Areas section of the Find Your Tribe forum? I've also found that vax-friendly chiropractors and others in the natural health community can be helpful, so you may try getting in touch with one in LA. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any pro-vaccine choice organizations there. :-(

It sounds like LA lets you act on your beliefs only if you can afford it. Class warfare in the informed consent arena. Lovely. eyesroll.gif

Good luck to you!
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for your respnse. For some reason, I didn't see it until just now. I guess I will go the religious exemtion. If I could afford an attorney, I probably wouldn't need the state insurance wink1.gif. The religious form I saw seemed pretty heavy - lots of bible quotes that made me a bit uncomfortable. (Mostly bc it seemed a bit looney (IMO) and I think I have very rational reasons to delay/skip vaccines and it goes against my nature to pretend to be looney just to be allowed to be rational!) I will look into the tribe and see about other forms for religios exmptions. It is definitely hard to find parents down here that could give advice. . .I have to out my self as both non-vax and on public assistance! Yikes!
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