Rep. Beth O’Connor Partners with Maine Parents to Introduce LD 1086, An Act to Enact The Maine Vaccine Consumer Protection Program

The Vaccine Divide – The Solution:

The Maine Vaccine Choice Coalition opposes The Sanborn and Tucker bills that remove parental rights, insisting that parents are not the problem in the increasing rates of those opting out of the CDC’s vaccine program.  The problem is that the CDC’s vaccine program is broken, and smart parents know it full well.  In turn parents are proposing the creation of a Maine Vaccine Consumer Protection Program which will address the true problems that are destroying trust in vaccination and driving a wedge between educated families and their physicians.

LD 1076, An Act to Enact The Maine Vaccine Consumer Protection Program

The 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, and the Supreme Court ruling Bruesewitz v Wyeth that sided with Pharma, removed the rights of individuals to sue in cases of vaccine injury and death, and closed the courthouse doors to families with vaccine injured loved ones.  Vaccine injury claims were then moved to the HHS Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
As a result of this freedom from legal accountability, corruption has taken hold in the US vaccine program:

  • The CDC recommended Childhood Vaccine schedule ramped up from 25 to a minimum of 70 doses with no safety testing of the current schedule as a whole
  • The Federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program rejects the vast majority of claims made by families regardless of merit
  • States and families pay for vaccine injury cases that are the responsibility of the federal government
  • HHS has become a vaccine patent holder, while approving, regulating and recommending vaccines, and while and adjudicating vaccine injuries, without disclosing its serious conflicts of interests to consumers
  • Corruption in safety and efficacy claims are being uncovered on an increasing basis:

To remedy this, Maine needs a Vaccine Consumer Protection Act to counter the corruption, misinformation, and attack on families right to informed consent.  The proposed act would:

  • Require doctors to be educated on the full Vaccine Injury Compensation Table and able to properly screen for and diagnose vaccine adverse events
  • Add VICP and the full, and soon to be revised, vaccine injury table to the Maine Immunization Program’s Provider Reference Manual
  • Advertise the VICP in Maine, per recommendation of the 11/14 GAO VICP report
  • Require a Maine State Vaccine Information Sheet for each vaccine which includes all known side effects be given to patient, per vaccine package insert, table and VICP rulings, remind patients of their right to opt out, and offer step by step instructions on what to do if a vaccine injury is suspected.
  • Remove the restrictions on which doctors would be able to write a medical exemption.  Our understanding of vaccine adverse reactions grows as science progresses, such as our new understanding on what genetic variations will put someone at risk for a vaccine adverse event, and should not be codified into law.
  • Establish a vaccine injury office in Maine DHHS separate from the Immunization program that will:
    • Act as an ombudsman for Maine vaccine injury families and clearing house for VICP case data
    • Evaluate vaccine injury claims
    • Provide guidance and a specific process for physicians to follow when a vaccine injury is suspected by their office, or by parents and caregivers
    • Provide referrals to doctors who will evaluate and treat
    • Provide referrals to attorneys who will file in the VICP
    • Recoup MaineCare funds that are spent on vaccine injury cases
    • Establish a complaint and review process for families to ask specific vaccine questions, challenge false vaccine safety and efficacy claims as well as coercion by vaccine providers, and requires DHHS to respond and justify recommendations.

Parents who have known for years that the vaccine program is broken have had their position yet again confirmed by two different in-depth investigative reports into the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program by both the US General Accounting Office and by the Associated Press; that once you have a vaccine injured child, you are on your own.

It is time to stop blaming parents for walking away from a broken vaccine program, and to simply begin to fix the vaccine program.

An Act to Enact The Maine Vaccine Consumer Protection Program

SUMMARY

This bill establishes the Vaccine Consumer Protection Program within the Department of Health and Human Services and describes the services provided under the program.

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 22 MRSA 1067 is enacted to read:

1067. Vaccine Consumer Protection Program

  1. Definitions, As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings,

A. “Health care provider” means a physician, nurse, clinic, hospital or other entity licensed by this State to provide health care services that administers vaccines.
B. “Office” means the Vaccine Consumer Protection Office established in this section.
C. “Program” means the Vaccine Consumer Protection Program established in this section.
D. “Vaccine Injury Compensation Table” means the Vaccine Injury Table of covered vaccines and associated injuries established by 42 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 100.3 (2000).

2. Program established, The Vaccine Consumer Protection Program is established within the department. The Vaccine Consumer Protection Office is established within the department to carry out the purposes of the program.

3. Services. Under the program, the office must provide information about vaccine injuries and immunizations to health care providers and the public.

The office shall establish and implement procedures to:

A. Promote public awareness of the Vaccine Injury Table through development and implementation of an educational outreach program that provides, at a minimum, the information contained in the Vaccine Injury Table or to any individual in the State who requests information related to vaccine injuries or immunizations;

B. Educate health care providers on the contents of the Vaccine Injury Table to help providers better screen for and diagnose adverse events caused by vaccines;

C. Require health care providers to use vaccine package inserts and the Vaccine Injury Table information that describes the warnings, precautions and adverse reactions potentially caused by a particular vaccine during the screening and diagnosing of an illness, disability, injury or adverse condition caused by vaccines to evaluate patients, or refer for an evaluation, when an individual or caregiver suspects and reports that a vaccine reaction may have taken place.

D. Write and publicize a Maine Vaccine Information Statement. The statement must include evidence-based information about vaccines and their potentially adverse side effects, inform patients about their right to opt out of vaccine requirements based on religious and philosophical grounds and offer a step-by-step explanation about how to pursue legal recourse if an individual suspects a vaccine injury has occurred. When drafting the statement, the department shall consult with nationally recognized vaccine safety advocates as well as Maine vaccine injured individuals and Maine families with vaccine injured family members.

E. Investigate potential vaccine injuries;

F. Evaluate vaccine injury claims:

G. Review instances of potential coercion by health care providers related to the issuance of a vaccine and require health care providers who are suspected of coercion to retract any inaccurate statements or face discipline by the applicable professional licensing entity:

H. Educate health care providers about the process for handling vaccine injury reports made in their practices.

I. Provide individuals with referrals to health care providers that treat vaccine injuries and to attorneys that handle claims related to vaccine injuries; and

J. Recoup funds that are spent on vaccine injury cases under the MaineCare Program established under chapter 855.

4. Rules. The department shall adopt rules to implement this section. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are major substantive rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

5. Repeal. Upon repeal of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, 42 United States Code, Sections 300aa-1 to 300aa-34, the department shall submit legislation repealing this section.

6. Strike out 20-A MRSA §§6352-6358 3 B which specifies what may constitute a valid medical exemption.

Sec. 2 Reference Manual. The Department of Health and Human Services shall add the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and the Vaccine Injury Table covered vaccines and associated injuries established by the 42 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 100.3 (2000) to the Maine Immunization Program’s Provider Reference Manual created by the department’s division of infectious disease within the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.


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