UPDATE: The legislation that was submitted below in the 2019-20 session has been refiled under a different bill name, by a different sponsor, for the 2020-21 legislative cycle, HB1225.
As we approach the 2021 Legislative session beginning January 11, 2021, Representative Lisa Callan (D) who represents Washington State’s 5th Legislative District including Issaquah previously co-sponsored House Bill HB2288 in the 2019-20 session, which didn’t advance out of committee. Will Callan co-sponsor similar legislation in the upcoming cycle under a new house bill name? The prior bill sought to further exclude parents from health-related decision-making of their children.
The bill’s language included the following text: “Establishing connections between health care providers in the community and the local schools helps increase access to health services for children and gives providers perspectives on the health needs of students during the school day.”
Callan’s proposed legislation HB2288 was designed to create statutory authorization for school-based health centers where minors can receive medical treatment without parental consent and have medical expenses charged to their parents’ health care plan without documenting the services rendered.
Since January 1, 2020 children in Washington State ages 13 and up can obtain confidential treatment using their parent’s insurance plan—without their parents’ consent. In the 2019 legislative session, Washington’s elected officials passed Senate Bill 5889 eliminating parents’ involvement in treatment of their kids condition’s including gender dysphoria, sexually transmitted diseases, mental health conditions and abortions.
The airy bill title “Concerning Insurance Communications Confidentiality” goes beyond allowing minors to seek confidential treatment. The bill directs insurance companies to send all correspondence including Explanation of Benefit (EOB) forms directly to the minor. Parents are prohibited from receiving anything from an insurance carrier informing them why their dependent child visited a doctor. Many parents learned about the law only after receiving a notification from their health insurance carrier, as seen here in a notice sent from Regence Health Care.
Parents fear proposed school clinics will talk children into dangerous and irreversible medical treatments such as puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and more. “This bill would have allowed a child to make an appointment during the school day, and Mom and Dad would never know about it,” said Jennifer Heine-Withee, a mother of three who runs SW Washington Parents’ Rights in Education, and was interviewed in the article, “Washington Erasing Parents from the Equation.”
On Sept. 28, 2020 the Issaquah School District board members approved new regulations 3211 and 3211P that make it harder for parents to participate in decision-making regarding their children in schools. In October, Issaquah Daily published an article about those new regulations.
In a January 2020 interview, Kim Wendt of Informed Parents of Washington said: “It doesn’t seem like a bad thing, until you understand … that parents of children, starting at the age of 13, have been completely cut out from knowing what their children are receiving in their medical and mental health care. We don’t even know why we are being billed — you just get sent a blank bill. The danger of this bill is … it creates a barrier where the school district cannot be sued by parents if something goes wrong because everything that happens in the clinic is the responsibility of the clinic,” Wendt said. “And then it also opens up the funding stream for the school district and the insurance to be billed to the parents — and they won’t even know what the services are that their children are getting during their lunch hours.”
At a State House Education Committee hearing earlier this year, Wendt said she was “trying to get other parents to understand that they’re slowly taking away, law by law, our ability to be the parents to our children, and then just making us their personal ATMs.”
Issaquah Daily received the following statement from the Child & Parental Rights Campaign, a national public interest law firm dedicated to protecting parental rights against the harms of gender identity ideology:
“HB 2288 threatened to destroy any vestige of Washington parents’ fundamental constitutional right to protect the health and well-being of their children. HB 2288 would strip parents of the authority to make medical and mental health care decisions and transform children into mere creatures of the state. HB 2288 and 2019’s SB 5889 are unconstitutional usurpations of parental authority, which the Supreme Court has recognized as a fundamental constitutional right for nearly 100 years. The Legislature’s attempt to adopt the statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority is repugnant to American tradition and cannot stand. We stand with Washington parents against this tyrannical overreach that threatens the health and safety of all Washington children.”
More information about SW Washington Parents’ Rights in Education is available here.
Representative Callan’s official website is here.