Lawmaker backs bill to protect unvaccinated from discrimination
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[December 08, 2021]
By Kevin Bessler
(The Center Square) – A
downstate lawmaker is calling on Illinoisans to support his legislation,
called the Freedom Act, which would prohibit discrimination against
those who decline to get vaccinated against COVID-19 because of their
State Rep. Adam Niemerg, R-Dieterich, filed House Bill 4239, which would
make it unlawful for anyone, whether it be a person, business, or public
official, to discriminate against any person because they refuse to get
vaccinated against their religious beliefs.
“The sad reality we are facing in our state and our nation is that our
leaders are using the pandemic as an excuse to strip away Americans of
their rights,” Niemerg said. “We can’t allow this abuse of power to
The Illinois legislature this fall amended the Illinois
Health Care Right of Conscience Act to clarify that it is not a
violation of the Act for employers to adopt measures to mitigate the
spread of COVID-19, which Gov. J.B. Pritzker and others said was being
“The Health Care Right of Conscience Act is being misinterpreted and
used in court cases to try to allow people who just don’t want to get
vaccinated,” Pritzker said.
A Democratic lawmaker has introduced legislation that would require
people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 to pay for their
own medical expenses, including hospital bills, if they contract the
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State Rep. Jonathon Carroll, D-Northbrook, said the bill would serve
as an incentive to residents to get vaccinated, and would help curb
the spread of the virus in Illinois.
On Tuesday, state Rep. David Friess, R-Red Bud,
issued a statement opposing Carroll's bill.
“The COVID craziness continues. This proposed legislation is a gross
overreach by the state. It is not the role of the State to interject
itself between its citizens and their health care providers or even
their contracted healthcare insurers,” Friess said.
Pritzker was asked about Carroll's bill on Tuesday. The governor
didn't sound enthusiastic about it.
"From my perspective, we want everybody to get vaccinated," Pritzker
said. "We certainly don't want to penalize people."
If adopted, Carroll's measure could face legal challenges. The
federal Affordable Care Act requires health insurers to cover
As for the Freedom Act, Niemerg said getting it passed is a long
“This is why I need help from concerned citizens to
put pressure on the leaders in the House and the Senate to do the
right thing by passing the Freedom Act,” Niemerg said.