By Wayne Rohde
When does $ 0.75 equal $ 0.56? The equation actually exists and only in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). Specifically, the Vaccine Injury Trust Fund is where you will find the equation and the reason why.
We all have been led to believe that for every vaccine sold in the United States, a levy of $ 0.75 was placed into the Trust Fund to be later awarded as damages to a vaccine-related petition or attorney fees and costs. Read any article that talks about the NVICP and chances are, there will be a reference to the tax or levy.
What you will not read about is that this $ 0.75 does not exist! The Federal Government loves trust funds of all sorts. So much so, that they charge a 25% administration fee. The $0.75 tax that is deposited into the trust fund is actually $ 0.56. The difference, the 25%, goes straight into the US General Fund, so our elected officials can fight a war, send man to into space, build interstate highways, or to purchase vaccines for the poor, the disabled, our veterans, and those in our military.
Currently, the Trust Fund has a balance of $ 3.4 billion dollars plus some change. And every year, the balance continues to grow. So why should we care or inquire on the reasoning for this large hand in the kitty? First off, the Trust Fund was established by Congress to pay for compensable damages and attorney fees, plus reimburse agencies for the administration costs of running the Program. No other expenses can be appropriated. Yet a quick glance at the income statements and balance sheets that are published monthly on the US Treasury website (here), there seems to be an increase of appropriations each year up and beyond damage awards and attorney fees.
The Department of Justice receives appropriations from the Trust Fund for their expenses such as DOJ attorney salaries that represent the Respondent. The Federal Court of Claims receives appropriations from the Trust Fund for their expenses such as salaries and expenses for Special Masters, clerks, rents, and other expenses. HRSA also receives appropriations from the Trust Fund. They cut the checks to those petitioners who actually prevail, an increasing rare event these days. Also attorney and medical expert costs, which by the way, is a slow reimbursement process, especially the second half of each fiscal year. HRSA also receives reimbursements as they are the direct administrator of the Program.
But wait, the Federal Government already took their percentage at the beginning of this money process. And now, they are taking more at the back end of this. If you thought the mafia had it good, maybe Uncle Sam just copied the technique from them.
The Federal Government pushes vaccines unto the American Public trying to convince them it is candy. They received a lot of money for doing so. But here is a kicker. They are the largest purchaser of vaccines. Approximately 52-54% of all vaccines purchased each year are from the Medicaid/Medicare, Dept of Defense, the VA, and other government agencies.
I have written extensively about this raiding of the Trust Fund in my upcoming book due out in September, but we need to be asking our elected officials now to audit the Trust Fund. Congress last looked into the revenue and spending of Trust Fund when the GAO issued their report in March 2000. And the report lacked the real inspection of the fund, revenues, and expenses.
We do not know how many vaccines are actually purchased each year. It is extremely difficult if not impossible to reconcile how much money is received by each agency and how was it spent. Several, including this author, suspect that money is being diverted out of the Trust Fund through government agencies to pay for certain IOM vaccine studies such as the one published in 2011 and several before. Also, could it be possible that these agencies are using appropriations to complement their stagnant budgets or to help them through the federal sequester or other activities?
An argument can be made that our federal tax dollars are funding a large segment of the Trust Fund via federal purchase programs, and Uncle Sam is a major financial benefactor of any immunization program. The American people deserve to know how much money is being received, how much is being spent and where.
Wayne Rohde is father to twin boys, one with autism. He is also the author of upcoming book to be released in September 2014, The Vaccine Court: The Dark Truth of America’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program – Skyhorse Publishing