By Julia Cox, CNN
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is urging Conservative MP Bob Seely to support a bill protecting patients with measles because he could lose his job if he does not.
Seely told CNN he tried to ask Ryan about the issue at a pre-Christmas meeting last week at the speaker’s residence, but was rebuffed.
Ryan said that he supports the “single bill” of anti-vaccination legislation, saying that he was worried about potential repercussions on Seely, who also sits on the Health Committee.
Seely, however, still doesn’t support the bill.
“The speaker said he was a supporter of the bill and I asked him if he’d pledge not to censure me if I voted for it. I said would you guarantee me that I don’t lose my job,” Seely told CNN.
“I want to believe him,” he said.
Seely is sponsoring the Protect Parents From Discrimination Act, which would nullify state-level anti-vaccination laws that prevent parents from signing exemption forms for their children at medical facilities.
In Maine, parents have to sign a form to obtain a medical exemption and can use their home doctor as well. But in Massachusetts, parents can only get exemption on a child’s health care provider, meaning that the parent will have to be present when the child receives the vaccine, putting them at risk of losing their job.
In Indiana, lawmakers this year considered making a religious exemption available to parents as well, but opted not to do so. Lawmakers could still renew the discussion.
Though lawmakers have supported children’s healthcare in the past, some conservative politicians are challenging states to reconsider.
In May, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, signed an executive order allowing mandatory vaccine for public school students, overriding a bill passed in Kentucky that barred such policies.
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