Vaccine Compensation Fund May Be Cut

(8/99) The nation's top health officials are contemplating gutting a federal trust fund that compensates the families of children who are injured or killed by reactions to vaccines, a House committee was told August 10. Surgeon General David Satcher revealed that Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala may recommend to the White House that a large portion of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program's $1.4 billion trust be turned over to vaccine research. She also is contemplating reducing how much is paid into the fund by cutting the current 75 cent-per-dose assessments on vaccines - a premium used to build up the compensation fund - to 25 cents. Parents usually end up paying most of the surcharge.

Satcher's revelation came during a hearing before the House Government Reform Committee, whose chairman said mandatory anthrax vaccinations of U.S. military personnel should be halted. Vaccine safety advocates vehemently oppose the plan to cut the vaccine trust fund and shift some of its dollars to another use. They say the money eventually might end up back in the hands of the pharmaceutical companies they blame for reactive vaccines in the first place. Barbara Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a private advocacy group for parents of vaccine-injured children, said in written testimony that the federal compensation system, which started out as "simple justice for children" has turned into "a cruel joke." Fisher said the program has grown fat because it reimburses only one-quarter of the families that apply for damages. "There is more than $1 billion languishing in the trust fund because HHS and the Justice Department pay expert witnesses and lawyers to fight every vaccine injury claim," she said.

The government has 17 full-time, veteran Justice Department lawyers on staff to fight claims and that only 1,300 families of the 5,300-plus petitioners have been awarded about $920 million so far.

COMMENT: Please reread the above sentence three times as it is a wonderful summary of this federal nightmare. I do not believe I have EVER been so angry about any news article as this one, once I started to reflect on its significance and history. I am so angry that I am having a difficult time putting my thoughts together on this one. My guess is that once you fully appreciate the significance of what I am about to describe, your blood may also be boiling. First of all, the government essentially forces everyone to get these ineffective and harmful vaccines by threats of not letting children into school without them. Few people understand that in 48 of the 50 states a religious exemption is allowed and one can enter school if the appropriate forms are completed. (These forms are in the article section on my web site at Secondly, the government forces parents to pay a tax on these vaccines, which is supposed to provide a trust fund to pay for injuries to the vaccine. The doctors pay the tax initially when they purchase the vaccines, but this is passed right down to the parents of the child. PLEASE recognize that once this program was instituted the drug companies that make the vaccines are not liable for ANY DAMAGES that result from their vaccines. Then to add insult to injury, OVER 80% of the injured children who apply for vaccine compensation are turned down. The government employs 17 FULL TIME lawyers to defend these cases. I imagine out of the 5300 cases that have applied there MIGHT be a handful of people who would not qualify, but my guess is that nearly each and every one of them deserves compensation for their injuries. My guess is that there really should be much closer to 530,000 children who should apply to this program for appropriate compensation. NOW, the government wants to deny the 18% of children who make it through the Justice Department attorneys and win their case and fund the trust fund money back straight! to the vaccine manufacturers. We really need to seriously consider renaming that division of our government to the Department of Injustice. I would encourage you to pass this information on to those who may not be aware of this desperately unjust state of affairs.