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Old 01-23-2011, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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^^What is really a shame is that some of the cases were in kids under a year of age, who were not old enough to be vaccinated.

 
Old 01-23-2011, 08:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
^^What is really a shame is that some of the cases were in kids under a year of age, who were not old enough to be vaccinated.
Yep. Those parents who refused to vaccinate their own children put other people's babies at risk.
 
Old 01-23-2011, 08:45 AM
 
4,267 posts, read 5,145,823 times
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Back to the OP's question of "should parents of unvaccinated children have to pay higher premiums then those who fully vaccinate due to the perceived increase in health care costs?"

To me this seems like a very slippery slope. If insurance companies can charge more for unvaccinated (or partially vaccinated) children then what else can they charge more for? Does anyone remember the babies who were denied coverage for being "too fat" and "too thin"?
Two-year-old Colorado girl denied health insurance for being too skinny
Heavy infant in Grand Junction denied health insurance - The Denver Post

There are other decisions that parents make that lead to increased health care costs for all. Should parents who feed their kids a steady diet of junk food be forced to pay more? How about parents who choose to formula feed? Both of those things have been shown to increase health care costs for all.

Do we really want to give insurance companies even more power and money then they already have just because parents of unvaccinated children *might* contribute to increased public health costs? Personally I think it's a horrible idea.
 
Old 01-23-2011, 08:47 AM
 
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Here's information on measles deaths during the 1989-1991 outbreak in the United States:

Quote:
There have been several epidemics in the United States since 1963: from 1970 to 1972, 1976 to 1978, and 1989 to 1991. The epidemic of 1989-1991 claimed 120 deaths out of a total of 55,000 cases reported. Over half of the deaths occurred in young children.
 
Old 01-23-2011, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,021 posts, read 98,892,281 times
Reputation: 31456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorthy View Post
Back to the OP's question of "should parents of unvaccinated children have to pay higher premiums then those who fully vaccinate due to the perceived increase in health care costs?"

To me this seems like a very slippery slope. If insurance companies can charge more for unvaccinated (or partially vaccinated) children then what else can they charge more for? Does anyone remember the babies who were denied coverage for being "too fat" and "too thin"?
Two-year-old Colorado girl denied health insurance for being too skinny
Heavy infant in Grand Junction denied health insurance - The Denver Post

There are other decisions that parents make that lead to increased health care costs for all. Should parents who feed their kids a steady diet of junk food be forced to pay more? How about parents who choose to formula feed? Both of those things have been shown to increase health care costs for all.

Do we really want to give insurance companies even more power and money then they already have just because parents of unvaccinated children *might* contribute to increased public health costs? Personally I think it's a horrible idea.
I think there is no question that unimminzed kids contribute to higher health care costs. However, I do agree with the slippery slope argument, and I'd rather see some sort of incentives for parents to immunize. Off the top of my head, I don't have any suggestions, though. Anyone?
 
Old 01-23-2011, 10:03 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 89,059,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I think there is no question that unimminzed kids contribute to higher health care costs. However, I do agree with the slippery slope argument, and I'd rather see some sort of incentives for parents to immunize. Off the top of my head, I don't have any suggestions, though. Anyone?
The only idea I have is everyone starts class action lawsuits against the index patient's parents and the parents of all of the other unimmunized children who caught and spread a disease if they were all old enough to be vaccinated. Sadly, financial risk of losing everything would be more likely to motivate these parents to immunize since the morality factor clearly isn't influencing them.

All it would take is a couple of substantial lawsuits won in court and seeing families that chose to not immunize lose everything they owned. These court cases could be easily won because most parents who chose to not immunize don't truly hold religious beliefs about it. The majority of them only claim religious belief when they are really just concerned about the risks of vaccinating. A jury would be easily swayed by the parents who lost very young children through no fault of their own because their children were too young to vaccinate. I believe a jury would want to see strong evidence that a family truly holds religious beliefs via being extremely strong religious people who worship in a religion that is known for this belief. A jury wouldn't have much sympathy for parents who aren't very religious, have flimsy 'spiritual' beliefs, and don't practice a religion that forbids immunization.
 
Old 01-23-2011, 10:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
The only idea I have is everyone starts class action lawsuits against the index patient's parents and the parents of all of the other unimmunized children who caught and spread a disease if they were all old enough to be vaccinated. Sadly, financial risk of losing everything would be more likely to motivate these parents to immunize since the morality factor clearly isn't influencing them.

All it would take is a couple of substantial lawsuits won in court and seeing families that chose to not immunize lose everything they owned. These court cases could be easily won because most parents who chose to not immunize don't truly hold religious beliefs about it. The majority of them only claim religious belief when they are really just concerned about the risks of vaccinating. A jury would be easily swayed by the parents who lost very young children through no fault of their own because their children were too young to vaccinate. I believe a jury would want to see strong evidence that a family truly holds religious beliefs via being extremely strong religious people who worship in a religion that is known for this belief. A jury wouldn't have much sympathy for parents who aren't very religious, have flimsy 'spiritual' beliefs, and don't practice a religion that forbids immunization.
While it is law that all children should be immunized before attending school in all 50 states barring medical exemptions, 48 of those states allow for religious exemption and 20 allow for philosophical exemptions. It would be very difficult if not impossible to sue parents for not vaccinating their children since 99% of those parents are not breaking any laws by not vaccinating.

Religion can be a very personal thing and one does not have to subscribe to any particular organized religion nor do they have to attend church or synagogue in order to have said religious beliefs. According to the First Amendment of the US Constitution, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Religious belief can be defined as: "Religious belief refers to a mental state in which faith is placed in a creed related to the supernatural, sacred, or divine. ..." (source: wikipedia). I think one would be hard pressed to prove someones religious beliefs or lack thereof in a court of law.

I also find it frightening that people would want to live in a society that forces medical treatments on people against their will. People should have the right to say what is and what is not injected into their bodies and the bodies of their children. There is no such thing as "the right to be free of vaccine preventable illness". If people feel it's OK to sue the parents of unvaccinated or under vaccinated children then they should have no problem suing the vaccine makers for not coming up with a more effective product.
 
Old 01-23-2011, 12:32 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,669,759 times
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The First Amendment means that the *government* cannot establish an official religion for the country, and that citizens are allowed to practice any religion (or none) that they like. HOWEVER...there are exceptions: The Rastafarian is NOT allowed to smoke marijuana in most states, even though it is part of his ritualistic religious practices. A Voudou priest is NOT allowed to bloodlet a chicken on his front lawn. Wiccans are NOT allowed to hold their circles naked in public.

And - if your religion forbids immunization, you'd best be prepared to back that up with documentation, if your kid carries a communicable disease and infects infants too young to be immunized.

Dorthy:
Quote:
I also find it frightening that people would want to live in a society that forces medical treatments on people against their will. People should have the right to say what is and what is not injected into their bodies and the bodies of their children. There is no such thing as "the right to be free of vaccine preventable illness". If people feel it's OK to sue the parents of unvaccinated or under vaccinated children then they should have no problem suing the vaccine makers for not coming up with a more effective product.
I find it frightening that parents will allow and encourage minor carriers of communicable diseases to be out in public, imposing their illnesses on the masses, and pretend that they're doing so because they have a right. Your child does NOT have the right to infect MY body. Don't vaccinate. And leave your child home until he has gotten sick and created his own immunities. Or make him wear a sanitary mask on his face so that he isn't exhaling toxins into my air.
 
Old 01-23-2011, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,021 posts, read 98,892,281 times
Reputation: 31456
The laws in the 48 states that allow religious exemptions would have to be changed/amended. I know in Colorado, you can get an exemption based on "philosophical objection"; you do not have to belong to any organized religious group that is opposed to immunization. If there is an epidemic of a vaccine-preventable disease, and your child is not immunized, s/he can be booted out of school until the end of the epidemic. However, as I said previously, often it is an unimmunized kid who is the index case.

I was thinking of some more positive incentives. We once had a dental insurance plan that had an "incentive" program, whereby if you actually went to the dentist every 6 months for preventive care, your deductible went down after so many visits. Something like that could be applied to immunizations, or perhaps some kind of a rebate deal could be set up.
 
Old 01-23-2011, 01:54 PM
 
4,267 posts, read 5,145,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
The First Amendment means that the *government* cannot establish an official religion for the country, and that citizens are allowed to practice any religion (or none) that they like. It also does not allow the governement to HOWEVER...there are exceptions: The Rastafarian is NOT allowed to smoke marijuana in most states, even though it is part of his ritualistic religious practices. A Voudou priest is NOT allowed to bloodlet a chicken on his front lawn. Wiccans are NOT allowed to hold their circles naked in public.
And as of this day the first amendment does protect people's right in 48 out of 50 states to opt out of vaccinations based on their religious beliefs which means the idea of class action lawsuits wouldn't hold up in court.

Quote:
And - if your religion forbids immunization, you'd best be prepared to back that up with documentation, if your kid carries a communicable disease and infects infants too young to be immunized.
The definition of "religious beliefs" is very broad. I don't think that it would be very difficult for a parent to defend their decision based on their religious beliefs.

Quote:
Dorthy:
I find it frightening that parents will allow and encourage minor carriers of communicable diseases to be out in public, imposing their illnesses on the masses, and pretend that they're doing so because they have a right. Your child does NOT have the right to infect MY body. Don't vaccinate. And leave your child home until he has gotten sick and created his own immunities. Or make him wear a sanitary mask on his face so that he isn't exhaling toxins into my air.
Most children who are unvaccinated are not walking around spreading VPD to the masses. There is no such thing as the "right to be free from communicable disease", vaccine preventable or not.
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