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Medical News and Perspectives
November 15, 1995

Proposed Flat Tax on Vaccines Seen Likely to Pass

JAMA. 1995;274(19):1495-1496. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530190009005

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FLAT TAXES seem to be an idea whose time has come. For months, suggestions to develop a flat rate for income taxes have been some folks' favorite coffee table talk. Now Congress is considering a flat tax on vaccines.

The Clinton administration has proposed a flat tax of 51 cents per antigen/ disease regardless of the immunogen. If approved by Congress, such a move may mean that some vaccines will be less expensive.

The tax is levied by Congress to fund awards made under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Act of 1988 following adjudication of claims for injuries as a result of public health immunization programs. Like other taxes on products, it is generally passed on to the ultimate consumer.

Will Congress act on the flat vaccine tax proposal? "We know of no opposition to it. The Treasury Department has of course agreed to it, and it is an administration proposal,"

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