Bill gives state the power to investigate doctors who grant more than five medical exemptions in a year
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A bill that targets doctors who sell fraudulent medical exemptions for vaccinations was passed Tuesday by California’s state Assembly.
The legislation would give state public health officials the power to investigate doctors who grant more than five medical exemptions in a year and schools with vaccination rates of less than 95 percent, the Associated Press reported.
After the 47-to-17 vote, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said that he will seek additional amendments to the bill. The office said “there are a few pending technical — but important — changes to the bill that clarify the exemption and appeal process that have broad support,” the AP reported.
Opponents of the bill claim it interferes with doctor-patient relationships, while supporters say too many vaccination exemptions reduce the “community immunity” that limits measles outbreaks. “This protection is being undermined by a handful of unscrupulous physicians who are profiting from putting children at risk and making our schools less safe,” said Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, a principal coauthor of the bill, the AP reported.
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