State lawmakers launched debate Wednesday on a new bill targeting doctors who write fraudulent medical notes to excuse children from getting vaccinations required to enter school. The hearing coincided with the recent declaration of measles outbreaks in Los Angeles and Butte County, bringing the number of cases of the virus to more than 30 statewide this year.
State Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) made his case for SB 276, saying families are skirting existing California law that forbids exemptions from vaccines for religious or personal objections by finding doctors willing to make up bogus medical excuses.
"We witnessed physicians who advertised exemptions for cash on social media and the internet," Pan said. "We’d see some parents post on social media that their child's regular physician refused to grant their child a medical exemption so they traveled to go purchase one from a distant physician."