Stop the Opiate Tax aka The Lifeboat Act

Stop the unfair taxation/fee proposal in congress Budgeting for Opioid Treatment Act

A group of leglslators has recently proposed to enact a 1 cent per miligram tax on opiate drugs only as a method of raising funds supposedly to be used to pay for drug treatment programs in the war on drugs. While this sounds on the surface like a worthy program there are many reasons for this program to be halted because in essence it is not taxing the people who will be using the programs but taxing the 95% of the opiate prescription users - Chronic Pain Patients, Senior Citizens and Disabled people who use their medications responsibly who will NEVER be participants in Drug Rehabilitation programs.

The people who somehow need to pay for the costs of drug rehabilitation programs are the drug rehabilitation program users who go through rehabilitation, not the people who never will be using these programs and use the opiate medications responsibly to relieve chronic pain and have somewhat reasonaby decent quality of life while living with unbearable pain.

I refer you to the article published by Pain News Network for additional information

Senators Propose Tax on Opioid Pain Meds

June 02, 2016

By Pat Anson, Editor

A group of U.S. Senators has introduced legislation that would establish a federal tax on all opioid pain medication. If approved, it would be the first federal tax on a prescription drug levied directly on consumers.

The bill, called the Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment Act, would create a one cent fee on each milligram of an active opioid ingredient in pain medication. Money from this ?permanent funding stream? would be used to provide and expand access to addiction treatment.

?A major barrier that those suffering from opioid addiction face is insufficient access to substance abuse treatment,? said Sen. Joe Manchin (D) of West Virginia. ?This legislation will bridge that gap and make sure that we can provide treatment to everyone who makes the decision to get help. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this bill passed so we can take another step forward in the fight against opioid abuse.?

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Angus King (I-ME), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) are co-sponsoring the bill, which has been dubbed the ?LifeBOAT? Act.

?By establishing a reliable stream of funding, this bill will bolster treatment facilities across the country, increase the amount of services available, and support people as they fight back against addiction ? all while doing so in a cost-effective way,? said Sen. King.

The opioid tax would raise an estimated $1.5 billion to $2 billion per year. In an interview with the Portland Press Herald, King said the fee would range between 75 cents and $3 for a 30-day prescription, depending on the dose. He claimed many patients wouldn?t have to pay the additional cost because their insurance would cover it.

King said treatment programs need funding, and tacking the cost onto the price of the drug is