Wednesday night, the House passed HF 889, a bill that prohibits state and local governments from issuing any sort of identification card that identifies a person’s COVID-19 vaccination status. The bill also states that businesses that require proof of vaccination from customers, clients or others will become ineligible for state contracts or grants, while allowing exceptions for health and long-term care facilities.
I have heard from many of you that this was a priority, and as evidenced by the legislation Human Resources has passed this session, your privacy regarding health information is a priority.
Some around the state do not believe there should not be any exception. I disagree. First of all – regarding private businesses…they have the right to decide who comes in their business. For example, if there is a dressmaker who has been in business for fifty years, and may be particularly vulnerable, they should have the right to ask a customer or a worker if they have been vaccinated in order to protect themselves. In which case they may take certain precautions and/or ask that customer to take certain precautions. As a consumer – you have the right not to patronize that business.
Regarding health care facilities…they are taking care of the most vulnerable Iowans, whether it is a nursing home, a hospital, an oncology clinic, etc. They SHOULD have the right to ask if a person has been vaccinated. This in no way means a person that is not vaccinated will be excluded from any of these facilities…but certain protocols will need to be followed to protect the vulnerable patients in those facilities. A visitor may need to use PPE to protect the vulnerable. As a healthcare professional and patient advocate – this was an exception that had to be in place for me to support the legislation.
This in no way should be interpreted that any employer is able to mandate a vaccine for their employees. I have said countless times I completely support vaccinations but I will never mandate the government sticking a needle in your arm.
This legislation passed with bipartisan support.