Health Freedom Idaho 2017 Legislative Session
This legislative session started with three primary pieces of legislation that concerned Health Freedom Idaho.
The first, Naturopathic Licensing, is very close to my heart as this is the source of my personal healing and that of many of the members of health freedom Idaho. After careful consideration, Health Freedom Idaho took the stance that licensing through the state is not necessary, and is not time or cost effective. While some naturopathic doctors were in favor of licensing, patients felt that the pressure of insurance companies to comply with their treatment reimbursement rates might otherwise distract a doctor’s best choice of treatment options.
Of greater concern was that licensing was intended to only apply to those schooled in the U.S. This would restrict licensed doctors to a few accredited schools would stifle and eventually destroy naturopathy in Idaho. This exclusivity would soon drive out competition, new ideas, and new practices that are the lifeblood of our state and country. This would create unemployment for most of the naturopaths in Idaho. A bill was not presented this year, and we will continue to keep a watchful eye out for next year.
The second bill HFI tackled was labeled the “Faith Healing Exemption” bill and it came forward as SB 1182. It was clear from the very beginning that this bill had less to do with faith healing and more to do with restricting health care choice and eliminating parental freedom to choose the best course of treatment for a gravely ill child.
Simply put, this bill would have re-defined child neglect to insert the State’s opinion in treatment choice as superior to the parent’s choice. This bill is NOT about families who won’t go to doctors (as those who adhere to ‘faith healing’ do not use doctors. The target of the bill was families who don’t follow doctor’s orders, setting the stage for increased mandated reporting as suggested by the bill sponsor Senator Johnson. Had it become law, 1182 would have ultimately given CPS and the Courts additional power to remove a child from a loving protective home because parents chose alternative means of healing.
Several years ago, Representative Trujillo said, “The status of parental rights is a decision that should be made by the people through their elected representatives, not by appointed judges.”
Julie Lynde, of Cornerstone Family Council testified before the Senate Committee about parental rights. “No government regardless of how well-intentioned it might be can replace the love and nurturing of a parent in the life of a child. Parents are willing to brave danger and sacrifice, hardships and heartache to ensure the best for their kids.”
Health Freedom Idaho, We want the fundamental rights of parents to be protected to make the very hard choice of treatments for a gravely ill child. Idaho Parents shouldn’t be further burdened with fear of mandated reporters (with financial incentives -such as doctors) second guessing their treatment choices. Parents should be protected from the label of neglect, families protected from the threat of CPS courts and mandated treatment protocols. We are very fortunate that this bill died on the senate floor. Much of the floor debate revolved around religious freedoms.
Without a doubt this bill will come back in another form. Those who support State mandated care have deep pockets and a consistent marketing campaign that’s intent is to change the minds of the legislature and citizens to believing that authorities know better than parents and those who don’t comply should have their children removed.
The final concern for Health Freedom Idaho remains unresolved.
Idaho’s vaccine exemption form for school attendance. The Idaho Health Department would like parents to believe that Idaho has a no-shots-no-school policy. However, Idaho statues allows vaccine exemptions for daycare and schools. A parent who chooses to avoid some or all of the 68 CDC recommended vaccines for their school aged child, is legally allowed to enroll the child in school (or daycare). Currently, parents are forced to sign IDHW’s mandatory form that demands parents state that their child is more likely to contract a “vaccine preventable disease with specific complication” and that it is negligent for willfully denying your son/daughter the life-saving protection that vaccines offer” in order to enroll their children into school.
A parent choosing to take the legal exemption because of religious reasons is required (by the Health Department’s form) to acknowledge ‘card carrying membership’ to a ‘qualified religious organization’ that opposes vaccines and the parent is then required to list their religious objections.
The Health Department has stepped significantly outside the law that clearly states a parent need only supply a written statement to the schools that they object to vaccines on a religious or philosophical ground without need to clarify or excuse their parental choice.
Leslie Manookian and myself spoke with Chairman Lee Heider several times over the summer about this very issue. He whole-heartedly agreed that The Health Department has severely overstepped it bounds. He agreed to carry a bill for us to clarify within the statute that a form provided by the Dept of Health and Welfare did not need to be filled out in order to enroll our children in school.
Health Freedom Idaho went knocking on Legislator’s doors to discuss this situation and we had much support in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. Sen. Fred Martin did his homework by calling the schools. They verified that they were in fact requiring this form and Sen Martin agreed that was outside of the statute. Our bill, SB 1050, never had a hearing.
Dick Armstrong (Director of Health and Welfare) spent much time with the legislators explaining why he requires this form. He stated that he uses it to educate the public and feels that it is his duty to do so. Of course, we believe that is up to the parent to educate themselves while using all of the resources available to them. The shenanigans that took place to keep this bill from being heard were appalling and included Governor Butch Otter telling Sen Lee Heider not to hear the bill. Sen Heider decided to drawer the bill that he had once promised to carry. The people were neither heard nor represented on this issue.
Parents are faced with another year of trying to enroll their children in school without incriminating themselves on the form mandated by the Dept. of Health and Welfare. Some have decided to homeschool but not everyone has that option. Many are having to sign this form under duress just to allow their child access to their promised education.
Now that our legislative session has come to a close we look forward to opportunities to educate the public with a desire to build a community of like-minded individuals. This summer will provide two such opportunities. On June 17, we join more than two dozen other cities with the Children’s March for Humanity.
This family friendly summer event will focus on toxins and our children. During the past 50 years, more than 85,000 industrial chemicals have been registered in the United States. Many of these chemicals have found their way into children’s environments: in the food they eat, the water they drink, the air they breathe and the products to which they are exposed. Some children may even be exposed to them while still in the womb. Recently a study showed nearly 300 chemicals in the cord blood of American newborns. Alarmingly, the majority of these chemicals are largely unstudied and unregulated until proof of harm is already established.
Here in Idaho a proven neurotoxin, Fluoride is added to community water. Glyphosate, now labeled a carcinogen, is sprayed in our fields adjacent to schools. Its residue is found on our foods, in our vaccines and even in an infant’s formula and mother’s breast milk. Contamination of the environment by man-made and natural toxins is detrimental to our children’s health.
Saturday June 17, In Boise, at Julia Davis Park we hope to bring local businesses, community organizations, professionals and families together to share resources, start dialogue and seek ways to support each other in our desire to create a less toxic environment for our children.
In August, we intend on hosting our second annual Fund-raising Luncheon. This event will allow the Health Freedom community to grow as we are motivated by engaging speakers, encouraged by our growing community and challenged to step out of our comfort zone.
We are doing all we can to protect you and your family – and we need your help. We are a volunteer organization and rely on member donations to keep the freedom march alive.
We had some big wins in the 2017 legislative session but we are already prepping for the bigger fight ahead in 2018. Now is time to get involved and take a stand for the wellness of our children and future generations!
Please take a minute and head over to our website and become a member today! Or, you can donate once or monthly. It is there you can sign up for our newsletter or even contribute an article to our website.
We genuinely appreciate your support! Thank you for being a freedom-loving citizen and for supporting the cause!
Miste Karlfeldt is the Executive Director for Health Freedom Idaho. Health Freedom Idaho (HFI) was created to protect our access to and preserve our freedoms in regards to the health care of our choice.