CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, June 18, 2013, the House will consider 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,under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on February 4, 2013 by Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and referred to the Committee on Ways & Means.
H.R. 475 adds all seasonal influenza vaccines to the list of taxable vaccines covered under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The act applies to sales beginning on the first day of the first month that begins four weeks after the date of enactment, or the date on which any seasonal influenza vaccine is listed for compensation under VICP.
The VICP is a federal program designed as a no-fault alternative to traditional tort law for resolving vaccine injury claims arising from covered vaccines. The program is funded through a 75¢ excise tax on each dose of specified vaccines. However, current law only covers “trivalent” (three-strain) vaccines against influenza. Recently, many manufacturers have begun producing more effective “quadrivalent” (four-strain) vaccines, but have held off on bringing the vaccines to market until the statute is updated. H.R. 475 amends the statute to cover all seasonal influenza vaccines under the VICP, ensuring that new, more effective vaccines are made available to the greater public.
 Id. at pg. 1.
A Joint Committee on Taxation estimate provided to the Committee estimates that implementing H.R. 475 will have a “negligible” effect on revenue and will have no effect on outlays.