New HPV Vaccine Bill Introduced in House

State legislators introduced a new bill last week regarding a controversial vaccine for human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes many cases of cervical cancer. Unlike Senate Bill 80, which would require school-age girls to get an HPV vaccination, House Bill 1301 would fund a public awareness campaign and allow the health department to reimburse public health agencies for the cost of giving the vaccine to underinsured girls. It would also add the vaccine as a Medicaid benefit and require some insurance plans to cover it. HB 1301 is co-sponsored by Sen. Suzanne Williams, D-Aurora, and Rep. Bernie Buescher, D-Grand Junction. Williams is also the sponsor of SB 80.
The new bill might be better received than SB 80. The latter has met opposition from people who object for moral, religious and privacy reasons. Another problem is that SB 80 doesn’t address the cost of the vaccine – $360 for the three required shots. HB 1301 should alleviate some of those concerns. The bill will next be heard in the House Health & Human Services Committee.

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