How Congress Can Help Raise Vaccine Rates
16 Pages Posted: 15 May 2020 Last revised: 16 Jun 2020
Date Written: April 21, 2020
2019 has seen an unusually high number of measles cases, and other preventable diseases outbreaks, at least in part linked to vaccines refusal. States are considering legislative responses. This article examines what role can the federal government fill in increasing vaccines rates. The article suggests that the federal government has an important role to fill in funding research, coordination, and local efforts. It also suggests that a federal school mandate is likely not the solution: first, such mandate can run into plausible constitutional challenges, and second, there are policy arguments against it, including the unfairness of imposing a mandate before solving access problems throughout the country, the risk of a federal mandate ended up weaker or stronger than the state, and the risk that a conditional mandate will lead to states losing funding needed to prevent outbreak, ending with the ironic result of more outbreaks as a result of such a law.
Keywords: Vaccines, public health law, Congress, Federalism
JEL Classification: K32, K30, I18, I14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation