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Stop the Opiate Tax aka The Lifeboat Act

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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

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802 Public Comments So Far

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2 days ago
Ann H. from Akron, OH writes:
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This bill is just, WRONG, And will only harm, non-addict, Chronic pain patients.
January 15, 2017
Sally H. from Schwenksville, PA writes:
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Please rethink your decision regarding opioids. The only people you hurt are those of us who are already hurting. Those who choose to abuse these drugs will simply find other drugs to abuse. It leaves chronic pain patients with nothing.
January 13, 2017
Bobby P. from Maysville, NC signed.
just now
Someone from Millville, NJ signed.
January 4, 2017
Someone from Fuquay Varina, NC signed.
January 3, 2017
Someone from Concord, CA writes:
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OMG, when is it going to end? Do you just want any and all intractable chronic pain patients to just die? Because everything and everything coming out of Washington is leading me to that conclusion. Newsflash: WE AREN'T THE PROBLEM. We AREN'T the addicts you are making so much noise about. We are the (often) poor people who have severe, chronic pain from a myriad of conditions that AREN'T Cancer, but might as well be, because that is how much they hurt. All the chanting, biobeedback, PT and "Talk Therapy" does nothing for us. We are the patients who absolutely benefit from Opiate therapy. We take our medicine responsibly, and don't run out, sell, trade or do other nonsense. We don't take heroin or other nasty stuff. We just take our medicine like our doctors TELL US TO TAKE IT. What did we EVER do to any of you people? Please have some mercy on us, because if you don't, you are going to seek the ranks of suicides swell from poor, vulnerable folk who can no longer get effective medical care from their pain doctors who are too afraid of being penalized by Washington. PLEASE DON'T DO THIS. I beg you. Life is already much too difficult for all of us are having to live like this.
January 3, 2017
Susan K. from Saint Paul, MN writes:
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This is a truly an unfair tax and will have a negative effect on chronic pain patients many of whom are on a fixed income. Please consider their well being and put an end to this act.
December 29, 2016
Art W. from Roseville, CA writes:
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Chronic pain patients need these opioids to function. Until you experience the high level of pain they have to endure over a long period of time, only then will you understand. Government should not have the right to take away their ability to live a simi-normal life. For them, it's not about getting high, it'about getting by.
just now
Pam H. from Roseville, CA writes:
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Absolutely NO taxing opioid medications!!! These medications are required in order for me to function with less pain due to rheumatoid arthritis. Chronic pain patients are already suffering because the government has interfered with our treatment medications already. Just because some people become addicted to our medications is no reason to tax those of us who responsibly use these medications to make our lives tolerable.
December 29, 2016
Elizabeth R. from Oklahoma City, OK writes:
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I have chronic pain due to a connective tissue disorder and have never had any addiction problems. It is completely unfair to tax the pain relief medicine that I need to pay for people that do have addiction problems. I am barely getting by as it is and I expect it to get much worse because of the incoming administration. Please don't make it worse with this bad bill!