Today, the GOP-controlled Colorado Senate gave final passage to House Bill 15-1075, bipartisan legislation meant to regulate naturopathic health care providers–some people call them “doctors,” but we don’t–who treat children under two years of age. From the bill’s summary text:
Current law prohibits a registered naturopathic doctor (ND) from treating a child who is under 2 years of age. The bill permits an ND to treat a child who is under 2 years of age if the ND:
• Provides the child’s parent with the current recommended immunization schedule for children;
• Demonstrates, prior to treating a child under 2 years of age and in each year in which the ND treats a child under 2 years of age, completion of 3 hours per year of education or training in pediatrics;
• Requires the child’s parent to sign an informed consent acknowledging that the ND is registered under the “Naturopathic Doctor Act” and is not a licensed physician, recommending that the child maintain a relationship with a licensed pediatric health care provider, and requesting permission to collaborate with the child’s pediatric health care provider;
• On the first visit, refers a child who does not have a relationship with a pediatric health care provider to a licensed physician who treats pediatric patients for a wellness evaluation; and
• Complies with director rules pertaining to the training, referral, and communication requirements.
The legislation did pass today, but not before hard-right Sen. Tim Neville took the unusual step of offering what’s known as a “third reading amendment.” The third reading of a bill is its final step before approval or rejection by a legislative chamber, so Neville had to obtain special permission to introduce Amendment L.008. What was so important in this amendment that Neville found this unusual procedure necessary, you ask?
Vaccine flap going down in the Senate on a bill about naturopathic doctors. @NevilleforCO wants to strike language requiring vaccine notice
— Kristen Wyatt (@APkristenwyatt) March 11, 2015
That’s right, folks–Neville’s amendment sought to strike a provision requiring naturopathic “doctors” to recommend that parents follow the CDC recommendations for childhood immunizations. Not to force children to be immunized, mind you, since you can’t do that in Colorado, just to recommend immunization.
Neville’s last-minute amendment was not successful. GOP Sens. Larry Crowder, Ellen Roberts, and Beth Martinez Humenik joined with Democrats to kill L.008 and pass the bill. But that also means most of the Senate GOP leadership, linchpin 2016 target Sen. Laura Waters Woods, along with multiple other 2016 targets have lodged yet another “anti-vaxxer” vote in the permanent record.
After the disastrous press Senate Republicans endured following passage of the so-called “Parent’s Bill of Rights,” which would make it even easier for unvaccinated children to attend Colorado public schools, we’re genuinely surprised that Senate President Bill Cadman would allow a vote on this amendment at all–let alone vote for it himself along with most of his caucus.
Perhaps they really can’t help themselves.