Rushville Republican

June 17, 2011

Our View: On immunizations

Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — Changes in the federal Vaccines for Children program will make efforts to get students inoculated even more of a challenge this summer and fall.

Beginning July 1, students from families with health insurance won't be eligible to receive school immunizations through county health departments. Families with high deductibles could spend hundreds of dollars for vaccinations in a doctor's office.

We recognize the federal government continues to struggle with its budget, that Medicaid and Medicare account for 21 percent of spending, and changes within these programs must be made if lawmakers are to balance the books and reduce the country's $14.3 trillion debt.

But if more families forgo immunizations because of cost, health officials could see higher rates of infection for diseases such as whooping cough.

There are clearly many areas in the federal budget that could and should be reduced before national lawmakers start targeting the vaccines that help keep our children healthy.

At the same time, perhaps it's time for parents to start thinking about opening a health savings account to help counter this misguided attempt to save a few dollars.