New Bill Proposes Tax to Help Fund Opioid Addiction Treatment
When the former Head of the Federal Drug Administration, Dr. David Kessler, refers to the ongoing opioid epidemic as “one of the greatest mistakes of modern medicine,” you know there is something terribly dysfunctional with the direction of public health policy in America. But there is a reason why Dr. Kessler’s assessment is so negative and apologetic: The fact is drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the U.S., more than motor vehicle accidents and firearms, according to results from a 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA). America is indeed undergoing an opioid addiction of what are epic proportions. Therefore, because of this escalating public health threat that a new bill co-sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Angus King (I-Maine) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) has been proposed in Congress. The bill consists of imposing a one-cent-per-milligram excise tax on every opioid pill sold. Essentially, what this bill does is raise money through a tax in order to fund the treatment of the widespread numbers of Americans battling opioid addiction. Under this proposal, the economic burden of this proposed excise tax will largely fall upon consumers. In reference to this burden, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (R-R.I.) said “since [the drug companies are] so at the heart of this problem, they should be contributing to the solution rather than just putting it on the general taxpayer.” Although the bill in a sense attempts to level the playing field, it might also serve as an incentive for drugmakers to justify the price hikes in drugs. The irony is, in order to collect more tax money from pharma to help pay for the opioid epidemic, more prescriptions drugs need to be sold.
What is the Executive Doing
Recently, President Obama announced an initiative whereby a $100 million in new funding will be allocated to drug-addiction centers. This new approach represents a substantial change in direction by humanizing the issue of substance abuse disorder and bring it to the fore of the public health debate. In addition, President Obama has made a commitment to address the opioid addiction crisis by focusing chiefly on the following aspects:
- Expanding access to treatment through doctors, community health centers, and state programs.
- Investing in partnerships between law enforcement and communities.
- Working to save more lives by making the overdose reversal drug naloxone more readily available to first responders.
- Ensuring those on Medicaid and CHIP can access mental health and substance use services as readily as medical services.
- Pulling together medical schools to train students on the newest CDC guidelines for prescribing opioid painkillers.
If You’re Battling an Addiction…Stop Suffering in Silence. BLVD Can Help
If you or a loved one have an addiction to alcohol, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.
Morning Consult. Manchin Part of Efforts to Make Drugmakers Pay for Opioid Abuse. Retrieved June 2, 2016
Drug Enforcement Agency. DEA Releases 2015 Drug Threat Assessment: Heroin and Painkiller Abuse Continue to Concern. Retrieved June 2, 2016
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Increases in Drug and Opioid Overdose Deaths — United States, 2000–2014. Retrieved May 17, 2016