Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith has co-sponsored legislation to reduce the federal tax on vaccines from 75 cents to 25 cents.

“This legislation will save consumers and states money,” said Smith. “This is common sense legislation that substantially reduces the cost of vaccines, an important part of basic health care for children and adults alike, without negative effects.”

The purpose of the vaccine excise tax was to fund the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which now has a $1.4 billion surplus. Taxes generate well over $100 million a year, and the surplus generates another $60 million in interest. Payouts and administrative costs each year are less than $60 million. Lowering the excise to 25 cents will ensure that the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program still has a surplus, albeit growing at a slower rate.

“Washington state taxpayers will save over $1.9 million each year,” Smith explained. “Furthermore, vaccines will be cheaper for everyone.”

H.R. 2118 the Vaccinate America’s Children Now Act, has been endorsed b y the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“I am hopeful that Congress will take up this important bill soon,” Smith said. “It is legislation that should be supported by all Members of Congress, regardless of political party.”