Thursday, March 26, 2020
Nicholas R. Consalvo (J.D. 2020, Florida), Note, Taxation Without Immunization: Exercising the Federal Taxing Power to Increase Childhood Vaccination Rates, 71 Fla. L. Rev. 1513 (2019):
This Note will discuss the need to exercise the taxing power of the federal government in an effort to restore immunization rates to their historically high levels. Recent spikes in unvaccinated children have resulted in global outbreaks of diseases that were near elimination. This Note’s solution to the growing anti-vaccination movement is the implementation of a federal tax plan targeted at parents who—without a valid medical exemption—refuse to vaccinate their children against specific classes of vaccine-preventable diseases. This federal tax plan could take the form of an income-based tax, or loss of child tax credits, enforced against parents based on the age and amount of time their child has remained unvaccinated.
Global efforts to increase vaccination rates and fight outbreaks have already resulted in similar fines and taxes as those advocated in this Note. Currently, the entire public is responsible for the burden of funding initiatives to treat and prevent outbreaks caused by parents who abuse nonmedical exemptions to evade existing vaccination mandates. That burden must shift and fall only upon the individuals who refuse to acknowledge that immunizing against vaccine-preventable diseases is a fundamental necessity for preserving public health.