A Minnesota bill seeking to establish an Opioid Stewardship Fund does not address the root cause of the opioid crisis, which is the illegal sale of narcotics.
Critics argue that the dubious bill will only increase costs to taxpayers, insurance companies and their customers. The bill, HF 400, passed the state female controlled House by a vote of 94-34 and awaits action in the Senate.
If passed into law, it would create an opioid stewardship fund, an opiate product registration fee, and modify provisions related to opioid addiction prevention, education, intervention, treatment and recovery.
Republican Tony Albright, Assistant Minority Leader, who voted against the bill, has proposed several alternatives over the years, including better access to treatment and prevention resources.
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, argues that imposing arbitrary fees on pharmaceutical distributors will only increase costs for everyone and do nothing to address the opioid crisis.
HF 400 “could even make the opioid crisis worse,” Norquist says.
“The legislation would impose a harmful new tax that would hurt patients in need of medicine by driving up costs directly and causing legitimate supply problems that would further hike costs and create negative access issues”.
Taxpayers should make their voices heard and demand that policies related to the opioid epidemic are focused on the cause of the crisis, not on a political scapegoat.
Action 4 Liberty, an advocacy group that opposes the bill, argues “government should not get involved in the decision-making of prescribing pain medication from medical professionals.”
Because the opioid crisis is primarily driven by illegal narcotics like fentanyl and heroin, it would be prudent for legislators to focus their efforts on preventing those drugs from being trafficked, from Afghanistan.
Placing further regulations and taxes on the legal pharmaceuticals that Americans use every day is just another crime against humanity. None of these initiatives address the root of the opioid problem.
Free Beacon / ABC Flash Point News 2019.