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Preparations For 'Flu Tax'

Posted by on Apr. 25, 2013 at 11:09 AM
  • 28 Replies
Congress is preparing to take action on a bipartisan proposal to raise taxes on flu vaccines. This is not a tax on the wealthy, but rather on a broad swath of Americans, or at least those who choose to be immunized against the flu.
In February, identical bills were introduced in the House and Senate to add seasonal flu vaccines to the IRS code as taxable. The legislation would exact a 75¢ per dose tax on any "vaccine against seasonal influenza." Given that the Centers for Disease Control projects that 135 million doses of flu vaccine will be used this year, the government's take on flu vaccines alone is over $100,000,000 per year.
Along with taxes on other vaccines, this tax would fund the Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund. The fund is a "no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system for resolving vaccine injury claims that provides compensation to people found to be injured by certain vaccines." However, the fund is by no means in the same kind of trouble that other government "trust funds" are.
The balance in the fund (as of November 2012) was more than $3.5 billion. Since the program's inception in 1988, the fund has paid out only $2.5 billion in 25 years for cases involving all vaccines, not just the flu vaccine. This means the balance in the fund could conceivably last another 25 years with no further tax revenue.
The House bill (H.R. 475) was submitted on February 4, by Republican Jim Gerlach with Democrat Richard Neal co-sponsoring, and the Senate version (S. 391) was submitted by Democrat Max Baucus and co-sponsor Republican Orrin Hatch. The same legislation had been introduced in the 112th Congress just months ago. The House version died in committee, but the Senate version actually passed by unanimous consent the day it was introduced.
Now, a posting on the Senate website reports that the Senate has reached an agreement on the current legislation. Although this flu season is winding down now, the tax could easily be in place by next winter if the House follows suit and the president signs it:
The Senate reached an agreement that if the Senate receives H.R.475 from the House of Representatives and the bill is identical to the text of which is at the desk, then the bill be read three times and the Senate proceed to a vote, at a time to be determined by the Majority Leader in consultation with the Minority Leader, with no intervening action or debate. H.R.475, a bill to amend the internal Revenue Code of 1986 to include vaccines against seasonal influenza within the definition of taxable vaccines.
As is the case with all government "trust funds," there is no cash set aside to pay out claims. According to the November 2012 report on the vaccine trust, the $3.5 billion balance is invested in "US Treasury Securities." In other words, financing a portion of the $16.5 trillion national debt.

http://m.weeklystandard.com/blogs/congress-prepares-100-million-bipartisan-flu-tax_719108.html
by on Apr. 25, 2013 at 11:09 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Analeigh2012
by Silver Member on Apr. 25, 2013 at 11:23 AM
1 mom liked this
I am ok with taxing this. Especially at 75 cents per vaccine. People get one shot per year. If they paid sales tax on the vaccine, it would be a lot more than 75 cents and this is thinking down the road. Sure the fund could go for another 25 years unless there was a big claim.
Now, let's pick apart the taxes bundled in ACA (Obamacare) that have been called "hidden". At least this one is right out there for all to see.
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JakeandEmmasMom
by Gold Member on Apr. 25, 2013 at 11:25 AM

 This doesn't seem like a big deal to me.  75 cents isn't much.

4kidz916
by Gold Member on Apr. 25, 2013 at 11:34 AM

I agree with you here.  I just hope that this isn't a gateway to start taxing more things.  75 cents isn't bad but if they add 75 cents to more and more things it could become a burden. 

Quoting Analeigh2012:

I am ok with taxing this. Especially at 75 cents per vaccine. People get one shot per year. If they paid sales tax on the vaccine, it would be a lot more than 75 cents and this is thinking down the road. Sure the fund could go for another 25 years unless there was a big claim.
Now, let's pick apart the taxes bundled in ACA (Obamacare) that have been called "hidden". At least this one is right out there for all to see.


kcangel63
by Amanda on Apr. 25, 2013 at 12:59 PM
I'm not a big fan of taxes. However, I like that its going toward the Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund. Since the Flu Vaccine is voluntary, and its a smaller tax going toward something for those injured by the vaccines, I'm ok with it.
Mommy_of_Riley
by Just Jess on Apr. 26, 2013 at 1:03 AM
1 mom liked this
No boggy to me. We don't get the flu shot and never will...
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kcangel63
by Amanda on Apr. 26, 2013 at 1:09 AM
That's kind of how I feel. My last 5 are vax free.

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

No boggy to me. We don't get the flu shot and never will...
Mommy_of_Riley
by Just Jess on Apr. 26, 2013 at 1:12 AM
We selective vax but we don't get the flu shot or chicken pox or hpv, etc.

I just think a natural immunity to low-threat things like that are better than a shot...


Quoting kcangel63:

That's kind of how I feel. My last 5 are vax free.



Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

No boggy to me. We don't get the flu shot and never will...
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SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 6:51 PM
3 moms liked this

THE TAXMAN - Lennon and McCartney

Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.

Don't ask me what I want it for
If you don't want to pay some more
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman
And you're working for no one but me.

angelachristine
by Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Great now people aren't going to be able to get vaccines. It may be 75 cents now but they start the taxes low and then raise them. If they need money get it somewhere else raise taxes on cigarettes or booze or some other thing..

angelachristine
by Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 6:59 PM

I have an autoimmune disease and both my rheumatologist and my gp have told me that I need to get my flu shot every year especially with the drugs I am on. My health care costs are enough as is I don't need the government adding stupid taxes and making things even harder to afford.


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