Ronald Reagan himself was troubled by the vaccine compensation bill and was quoted as saying, “Although the goal of compensating those persons is a worthy one, the program has…serious deficiencies.”
…The Reagan administration seemed to be particularly concerned with two issues: who was going to pay for the compensation required for vaccine injury, and the precedent of the federal government indemnifying private companies from liability.
…The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was actually part of a larger bill, the Omnibus Health Bill (S. 1744), that was introduced in the waning days of the 99th Congress in late 1986. Leading a four-year effort to pass the controversial legislation on vaccine liability was a Congressman from the 30th District of California, Henry Waxman. Waxman’s bill was supported by vaccine manufacturers, who were lobbying very hard on its behalf, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
…In the waning days of the 99th Congress, the bill’s passage was up in the air, with the White House declaring plans to veto the entire Omnibus package, due almost exclusively to the provisions in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. Congressman Waxman, the bill’s author, was unyielding, and worked the press to his advantage in the final days declaring:
“This bill is the first step to taking care of children hurt in the process of protecting society from epidemics and to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines. If the President vetoes it, he will leave these children to fend for themselves and leave the country with risks or shortages or skyrocketing prices. If he vetoes it, I hope he has some emergency plans to start making vaccines himself because the manufacturers tell us they may very well stop.”
And, with the final threat of losing the entire manufacturing base of vaccine makers coming from Henry Waxman and the AAP, Ronald Reagan made the bill law on November 15, 1986 “with mixed feelings.”
That might be his part in it but this is far from the whole story. I urge you to read A Stolen Life. It is also backed up in the 1985 senate hearing S827(you can get a free copy) which will educate you on how it all came about and by whom. This is the SOLE reason we have the system we have today and those are the key players you have to thank for it.