Monthly Archives: January 2019

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    Cleveland vaccination bill would improve public health safeguards

Cleveland vaccination bill would improve public health safeguards

January 31st, 2019|

Washington state residents would be better protected from the spread of diseases and deadly bacteria under legislation being drafted by Sen. Annette Cleveland (D-Vancouver), the chair of the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee.

SB 5841 would eliminate one of the three currently allowed exemptions from the common vaccinations that immunize children from polio, measles, chicken pox, pneumococcal disease and other illnesses. While retaining religious and medical exemptions, the bill would remove the exemption that is used most often and is least substantiated: personal belief or philosophy.

“Vaccinations have proven critical in protecting children and the overall community from deadly diseases that were once very prevalent,” said Cleveland, who works in health care apart from her role as an elected official. “When people exempt their children from vaccinations, it can pose a risk to public health.”

In Clark County alone, a recent outbreak of measles has moved Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency as exposures were tracked to multiple Vancouver locations as well as locations in Oregon and in the Seattle area.

“Vaccinations protect not just the children who receive them but others throughout the community,” Cleveland said. “First and foremost, widespread vaccinations make it difficult for a disease to gain a foothold in a community. Second, reducing the potential exposure helps protect those who are unable to receive vaccinations, such as newborns or individuals with chronic illnesses.”

Cleveland further noted that a disease like measles can cause hearing loss, pneumonia, encephalitis and death, and can increase the potential for pregnant women to give birth prematurely or to a baby with low birth weight.

“Thanks to the widespread use of vaccinations, we were able to declare the measles virus eliminated in the U.S. in 2000,” she said. “But now we’re seeing a return of this contagious disease, and statistics indicate 90 percent of those with measles either were not vaccinated or their vaccination status is unknown. That suggests the outbreaks are coming from the unvaccinated, meaning we need to take the necessary steps to protect against a resurgence of measles in the general population.

“The eradication of serious diseases that caused immense suffering in past generations was miraculous and saved untold lives. We must not risk our future by forgetting the past.”

Cleveland discusses health care priorities for 2019

January 10th, 2019|

In this podcast with Everblue State, Sen. Annette Cleveland lays out Democrats’ plans for health care legislation.

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    Cleveland: Public option plan makes big sense for Washingtonians

Cleveland: Public option plan makes big sense for Washingtonians

January 8th, 2019|

Sen. Annette Cleveland (D-Vancouver), chair of the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee, issued this statement on a proposal announced today to provide a public option for health insurance in Washington state:

“I applaud this plan and look forward to shepherding it through the Senate and working toward its passage by the full Legislature.

“Health care is the number one concern in households across our country, and for good reason. At a time when the White House and Senate continue to work to roll back Americans’ health care coverage, it’s more important than ever that we act at the state level to ensure access to affordable, comprehensive coverage for Washingtonians.

“I have said for some time that it is critical that the state offer a health insurance plan for individuals through our state health benefit exchange. A public option can lower premiums, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs for households that do not have health plans through employers, and ensure that all Washingtonians in the individual market have access to an affordable healthcare plan, even if private insurers raise rates or leave the market.

“This policy will give Washingtonians more options from which to choose. It will increase competition among plan providers, leading to lower costs for consumers. It will also standardize the cost sharing and range of benefits offered in the both public and private plans available through the exchange, making it easier for consumers to find a plan that meets their needs.”