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A tax on opioid meds is not the way to combat the epidemic

There is certainly an immediate need for a legislative solution, but the tax considered by the Legislature is irrational.

As a concerned citizen, I am troubled by the anguish opioid addiction has spread through our communities and across our nation. The crisis has touched nearly everyone, no matter the community.

While Minnesota lawmakers deserve great credit for their work to combat the epidemic, I am worried about lingering talk of legislation that was considered during the last session. As a way to fund opioid treatment, lawmakers tried to impose an across-the-board tax on all opioid medication. While the intentions of the bill may have been good, there is no evidence it would have kept opioids out of the wrong hands.

Instead, attempting to limit the use of legal pain medication by taxing the distribution of opioids ultimately would disrupt the supply chain. It could increase health care costs throughout the whole medical system, making it more difficult for licensed care providers to access medication to treat people in need.

There is certainly an immediate need for a legislative solution, but this type of tax is irrational. As a business owner, I understand firsthand the importance of accessible and affordable health care for both employees and employers. And, at a time when health care costs are already skyrocketing, a new tax on our health care system is not the answer.

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