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Thread: Wow, talk about your basic "welfare" state

  1. #1
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    Wow, talk about your basic "welfare" state

    For the first time in more than 30 years, the State of Alaska will no longer offer all vaccinations free to all Alaska schoolchildren, the state Division of Epidemiology reported this week.

    http://www.adn.com/life/health/story/581569.html

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that no other state in the union is able to do this. Granted, my "child" is 25 years old now, and vaccinations are a thing of the past, but, don't you folks with school age kids still pay for their vaccinations? Am I wrong about this?

    la

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    I'm impressed that Alaska previously had such a strong commitment to public health. There has been an extremely disturbing decline in vaccination rates; this won't help.
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  3. #3
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    Interesting. It looks like the state is just cutting back on two vaccines, but will continue to offer others free.

    I would guess that most states offer free vaccinations for low income families. We just had to pay an office co-pay for ours.

    That being said, our state is offering free flu vaccinations for all school age children this year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefania4 View Post
    There has been an extremely disturbing decline in vaccination rates; this won't help.
    Yeah I'm on a baby board and some of the women declined to have their kids vaccinated because they say there is no proof it actually works! These people will fight to the death over this too!
    Stay-at-home mom scratch cooking for a child with a severe peanut and mustard allergy.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefania4 View Post
    I'm impressed that Alaska previously had such a strong commitment to public health. There has been an extremely disturbing decline in vaccination rates; this won't help.

    ***WARNING***SOAPBOX***
    A big part of the decline is due to the false thought that there is a link between autism and vaccines. This was based on one clinical study that suggested a link in a small number of kids. Since then, there have been dozens of studies disproving the original study and more than half of the authors of the original study have formally withdrawn their names and the results citing that they findings were not accurate. In addition, the preservative (thimerosal) which contained a type of mercury, was thought to be the culprit. That was never proven, but still thimerosal is no longer used in any vaccines other than some flu vaccines, however, the mercury in thimerosal is not like the mercury in fish, as it does not build up in your body and become toxic.

    As a result of parents not vaccinating their children, there has been a significant rise in preventable diseases including measles, which can be deadly.

    Some parents choose to break up the vaccines rather than not give them, ie. not giving more than 1 vaccine at a time and not using combo vaccines.

    ****SOAPBOX DISMOUNTED***
    Terri _A
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvtocook View Post
    Granted, my "child" is 25 years old now, and vaccinations are a thing of the past, but, don't you folks with school age kids still pay for their vaccinations? Am I wrong about this?
    la
    You betcha'! My daughter was slated to have four vaccines in September. The pediatrician said two of the four didn't really need to be done now, they were just needed at some point before DD started kindergarten. I decided to hold off, since I didn't want DD to get four separate shots when she was already so upset about it. (She's already freaking out about getting more "when she turns 5".) I'll take her back in a few months for the other two.

    DH and I are self employed and purchase our own individual health plans. I just got the bill for DD's appointment, and even with a $40 co-pay, we owe an additional $132. One of the vaccines she received is not covered at all by our policy, I'm not sure if it was the polio or DTaP. To me it is just crazy that one of those wouldn't be covered. :mad: I'm relieved that I didn't have all four done at once, can you imagine what the bill would be?

  7. #7
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    I'm secretly hoping for a smallpox wave or some such disaster.

    cull the herd.


    State of Alaska does everything just a little bit differently... Y'all know they actually _pay_ their residents, right? Oil dividend check for every man, woman, and child. Good times.

    Of course, in exchange you give up oh, I don't know, sunshine. But hey! It's all good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KristaMB View Post
    One of the vaccines she received is not covered at all by our policy, I'm not sure if it was the polio or DTaP. To me it is just crazy that one of those wouldn't be covered. :mad: I'm relieved that I didn't have all four done at once, can you imagine what the bill would be?
    Krista-
    It's possible that your insurance covers a particular "brand" of that vaccine and your doctor uses a different one. You might want to challenge the insurance company on this as it's WRONG to not covered vaccines required by the state. I'd ask if they'd rather pay for her care when she contracts polio, diptheria, pertusis or tetnus? Those costs would be significantly higher than the cost of the vaccine itself.
    Terri _A
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Escher View Post
    I'm secretly hoping for a smallpox wave or some such disaster.
    I certainly hope it's not smallpox, as most kids in the US aren't vaccinated against it anymore. It was considered eradicated in '79.


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    Quote Originally Posted by leightx View Post
    I certainly hope it's not smallpox, as most kids in the US aren't vaccinated against it anymore. It was considered eradicated in '79.


    Yeah...that would be bad. Still, immunizations are _not_ 100% effective, so these doofuses who don't vaccinate are putting my kids at increased risk, as well as their own.

    Bastards.
    More calm, cool, scathing logic that drives women crazy...

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Escher View Post
    Yeah...that would be bad. Still, immunizations are _not_ 100% effective, so these doofuses who don't vaccinate are putting my kids at increased risk, as well as their own.

    Bastards.
    Agreed 100%. It pisses me off to no end that they're able to choose not to vaccinate their child only because the risk is low that the kid will come down with a disease. They're getting by because everyone else is vaccinated. :mad:

  12. #12
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    Maybe it will be Measles....

    From the CDC website -

    Update: Measles Outbreaks Continue in U.S.
    Girl and her motherCDC and state health officials are investigating and responding to cases of measles across the U.S. These cases remind us that it's important to vaccinate children and adults to protect them against this highly contagious disease.

    CDC and state health officials are concerned about an increase this year in the number of measles cases and outbreaks (three or more linked cases) in the U.S. Measles is a highly contagious disease spread through coughing or sneezing. Symptoms can include rash, high fever, coughing, and runny nose. The disease can also cause more serious problems, such as ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)even death.

    From January through July 2008, CDC received reports of 131 measles cases from 15 states and the District of Columbiathe highest year-to-date number since 1996. More than 90% of those infected had not been vaccinated, or their vaccination status was unknown. Many of these individuals were children whose parents chose not to have them vaccinated. Fifteen of the patients, including four infants, were hospitalized.

    These cases remind us that it is very important to vaccinate children and adults to protect them against measles. Even though the ongoing transmission of endemic (native) measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, the disease is still common in many other countries. Worldwide, 20 million cases of measles still occur each year, and the disease is a significant cause of vaccine-preventable deaths among children. In 2006, about 242,000 children died from the disease.

    The measles virus can be imported into the U.S. by foreign visitors or returning travelers who are not fully protected against the disease. Close to 90% of the measles cases reported this year in the U.S. were either acquired abroad or linked to imported cases. Many were related to cases imported from Europe. Once in the U.S., the virus spreads through a variety of settings, including homes, childcare centers, schools, hospitals, emergency rooms, and doctors' offices.

    No matter where or why the next outbreak of measles occurs, the best way to protect your children, yourself, and others from the disease is to keep up to date on vaccinations.

    The measles vaccine is administered as MMR, a combination vaccine that provides protection against measles, mumps, and rubella. The MMR vaccine is strongly endorsed by medical and public health experts as safe and effective. All children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine. The first dose is recommended at 1215 months of age and the second dose at 46 years of age.

    All adults born during or after 1957 should receive at least one dose of vaccine unless they have documented evidence of measles immunity (through a blood test or a physician's diagnosis of measles). Two doses are recommended for all international travelers, healthcare personnel, and students attending secondary and post-secondary school. Infants 611 months of age should receive one dose prior to travel abroad.
    Terri _A
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    Read my ramblings about food and my nutty life on A Girl in the South!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terri_A View Post
    Krista-
    It's possible that your insurance covers a particular "brand" of that vaccine and your doctor uses a different one. You might want to challenge the insurance company on this as it's WRONG to not covered vaccines required by the state. I'd ask if they'd rather pay for her care when she contracts polio, diptheria, pertusis or tetnus? Those costs would be significantly higher than the cost of the vaccine itself.
    Thanks, Terri. I'll look into this. This has been our first experience with insurance other than a group policy, so all these deductibles and other expenses that aren't covered are really throwing me for a loop.

  14. #14
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    I'm not sure how things are now, but when I was a kid in Atlanta vaccinations were provided for free to everyone. Of course, there were fewer then than they are now. In the past I think it's been more common than not for the city/county/state to provide vaccinations, esp. in the days of smallpox vaccines and the like. If gov'ts are not providing them as a whole now, that's a cutback.
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    I try really hard not to be militant about parenting issues. I don't care if people breastfeed, cosleep, use cloth or disposable diapers, etc.

    I care when people don't vaccinate. Vaccination is not just for one kid; it is a social compact that protects people who cannot be vaccinated or who are too young to be vaccinated. I have a toddler and infant but am an older mom, so I remember my grandmother talking about how horrible it was to watch her daughters suffer from these now-preventable diseases. My mom remembers having to stay home during polio epidemics. My dad HAD polio. These illnesses are no joke, which is why we have the vaccines in the first place. Even chicken pox can be deadly--it is rare but it happens.

    My boys got every vaccine the ped recommended, at the time she recommended it, although if she gave us an option to defer and spread them out, we did that. She went to medical school. I didn't.

    We reluctantly stopped socializing with a couple when we learned their daughter does not get any vaccines. We had a baby who had not yet had all his shots and it was not worth the risk to me.

    I am soapboxy on this...but I digress. We pay a copay for our kids' shots. I think you can get them for free in Minnesota if you are a low-income family. I have no problem with the government paying for vaccines.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica View Post
    Vaccination is not just for one kid; it is a social compact that protects people who cannot be vaccinated or who are too young to be vaccinated. ... I have no problem with the government paying for vaccines.
    Exactly. Governments paying for vaccines is not about subsidizing a personal health benefit -- creating a so-called "welfare state," but providing a public health benefit. Yes, the vaccine is going to protect that particular kid, but even more importantly it's going to protect the public at large from an epidemic, and that's where government interest comes in. I'm surprised things have gotten to the point that it's not free to everyone.

    Attitudes towards vaccinations really have a generational aspect. When I was of vaccination age, we were still getting smallpox shots. Even then it was considered a low risk, but a risk nonetheless and one to be vigorously avoided. Same with polio ... the difference for me was having a great uncle who had had polio and suffered lasting damage to his legs. So, if you're old enough to have been vaccinated when these diseases were either things you'd seen or that your elders had seen/experienced, it was something you knew was a godsend rather than something to carp about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by funniegrrl View Post
    Even then it was considered a low risk, but a risk nonetheless and one to be vigorously avoided. Same with polio ... the difference for me was having a great uncle who had had polio and suffered lasting damage to his legs.
    I just spoke with my grandfather this morning and he raised this issue. He's 88 and has had problems with his left leg nearly all his life because of polio (or "infantile paralysis" as he calls it). He read an article about all these people who think they're scientists and don't need vaccines, and he is incensed. He remembers how awful it was to have it and the dread that went through the neighborhood every time someone's child was diagnosed.

    Then we had a long talk about how the US seems to be going backwards with opposition to evolution and opposition to vaccines, and we won't be producing scientists in the US and we'll continue to lose ground to other countries on discoveries, and so on. You know, nice, light morning conversation.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by funniegrrl View Post
    Exactly. Governments paying for vaccines is not about subsidizing a personal health benefit -- creating a so-called "welfare state," but providing a public health benefit. Yes, the vaccine is going to protect that particular kid, but even more importantly it's going to protect the public at large from an epidemic, and that's where government interest comes in. I'm surprised things have gotten to the point that it's not free to everyone.

    Attitudes towards vaccinations really have a generational aspect. When I was of vaccination age, we were still getting smallpox shots. Even then it was considered a low risk, but a risk nonetheless and one to be vigorously avoided. Same with polio ... the difference for me was having a great uncle who had had polio and suffered lasting damage to his legs. So, if you're old enough to have been vaccinated when these diseases were either things you'd seen or that your elders had seen/experienced, it was something you knew was a godsend rather than something to carp about.
    Jessica and Funnigrrl,

    Apparently you didn't see any of my posts on the political threads, so you misunderstand me. I am totally, 100% for government paid vaccinations for all children, everywhere. My point was the hypocrisy of Sarah Palin and her "socialist"/"welfare" slurs against Obama when her own state is a welfare state. It was the hypocrisy I was chapped about. I guess, happily, it no longer matters!

    la

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvtocook View Post
    Jessica and Funnigrrl,

    Apparently you didn't see any of my posts on the political threads, so you misunderstand me. I am totally, 100% for government paid vaccinations for all children, everywhere. My point was the hypocrisy of Sarah Palin and her "socialist"/"welfare" slurs against Obama when her own state is a welfare state. It was the hypocrisy I was chapped about. I guess, happily, it no longer matters!

    la
    The hypocrisy goes well beyond vaccinations -- I believe that each citizen gets back more Federal funds per capita than residents of any other state -- and of course the payment to each person of a substantial amount in oil royalties that are owned by the state.

    Poor Palin might have some difficulty balancing the budget though since it was predicated on the obscenely high price per barrel which was being passed on to the rest of us in the lower 48.

    ETA -- And what is really overwhelming hypocrisy is that the vaccine program was cut because FEDERAL funds aren't available anymore -- that's my tax dollars going to Alaska -- seems the state isn't willing to fund them or perhaps reduce the amount of money paid out to every resident of Alaska REGARDLESS of economic need.

    And I fully support government funded vaccines although in many cases by paying for vaccines, it's a free ride for an insurance company which would have to pick up the cost in many policies. And as I recall Palin wouldn't fund rape test kits but billed them back to the victim.
    Last edited by blazedog; 11-08-2008 at 04:28 PM.
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica View Post
    I try really hard not to be militant about parenting issues. I don't care if people breastfeed, cosleep, use cloth or disposable diapers, etc.

    I care when people don't vaccinate. Vaccination is not just for one kid; it is a social compact that protects people who cannot be vaccinated or who are too young to be vaccinated. I have a toddler and infant but am an older mom, so I remember my grandmother talking about how horrible it was to watch her daughters suffer from these now-preventable diseases. My mom remembers having to stay home during polio epidemics. My dad HAD polio. These illnesses are no joke, which is why we have the vaccines in the first place. Even chicken pox can be deadly--it is rare but it happens.

    My boys got every vaccine the ped recommended, at the time she recommended it, although if she gave us an option to defer and spread them out, we did that. She went to medical school. I didn't.

    We reluctantly stopped socializing with a couple when we learned their daughter does not get any vaccines. We had a baby who had not yet had all his shots and it was not worth the risk to me.

    I am soapboxy on this...but I digress. We pay a copay for our kids' shots. I think you can get them for free in Minnesota if you are a low-income family. I have no problem with the government paying for vaccines.
    Yes, low-income families can get free vaccinations in Minnesota.

    And ITA with everything else you said. Seriously. The whole conscientious objection thing with the vaccinations irks me - and I see quite a bit of it working in early childhood.

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