The California Senate has passed controversial SB277 with a 25 to 10 vote. Effectively, this bill rescinds “personal belief exemptions” for inoculations.
The measure is now facing the Assembly before it is made a law.
Pediatrician and state senator Richard Pan, champion of this bill, said: “Vaccines are necessary to protect us. That protection has been eroding. The science is clear: Vaccines are safe and efficacious.”
The pediatrician turned senator has been financed and supported by the medical and pharmaceutical industries the entire way.
In order to ensure his victory as an Assemblyman and later a state senator, Pan used now 5 years old Seneca Mitchell, one of his patients, to bring a coercive air of caring to his constituents.
The purpose of this marketing was to downplay “Pan’s experience as a politician in favor of an image as a working doctor.”
During college, Pan was a member of the California Medical Association (CMA) where Mitchell’s mother, Jodi Hicks, was the chief lobbyist for the organization.
Pan became Hicks’ pediatrician while she was pregnant with Mitchell.
Through Hicks, Pan has received more than $20,000 from various clients she lobbies for to boost his campaigns as a professional politician.
Because California state laws prohibit Hicks from directly donating, she has worked on Pan’s campaign and used her influence within the medical community to gain popularity and support for Pan.
The investment in Pan from the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries have paid off with the potential success of SB277.
Pan’s senatorial seat was purchased for $545,125 by:
• Healthcare professionals
• Pharmaceutical industry
• Health insurance
• Health services
• Hospitals and nursing homes
Prior to this latest legislative proposal, Pan was behind AB2109 which passed in 2012. This bill required individuals and parents to obtain the signature of a health care practitioner for a philosophical exemption to vaccination.
Pan said this bill “empowers them [parents] with up-to-date, accurate information about immunizations”; however critics call it “an unnecessary and expensive intrusion into the rights of parents, intended to increase vaccination rates by making it more difficult to claim the exemption.”
Donors to Pan’s senatorial cohorts Felipe Fuentes and Lois Wolk who had a financially vested interest in the passage of AB2190 into law include:
• Bristol-Myers Squibb
• Eli Lily
• Johnson & Johnson