May 30, 2019
 
To: Members of the Connecticut House of Representatives
From: Americans for Tax Reform
Re: ATR opposes a tax on opioid pain medication 
 
Dear Representative,
 
On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform and our supporters across Connecticut, I urge you to reject a tax on opioid-derived pain medication , which the Governor has proposed be included in his damaging end-of-session health care legislation.
 
While it is understandable the overdose crisis is drawing attention from lawmakers, it cannot be taxed away. In the end, this misguided tax will increase costs for patients who are legitimately in need of medicine and supervised by a doctor.
 
A report by economist Alex Brill, and Women In Government , shows the damage a tax on opioids would cause: “the tax would do little to discourage inappropriate use, could have the unintended consequence of promoting illicit opioids for some, and would raise the cost of health care generally.”
 
Multiple studies show it is not just those who are prescribed pain medicine who will pay, the costs from the tax and compliance will also be passed on to everyone in the state through higher insurance premiums . In fact, people without health insurance feel these costs as well, since they have no way to deflect higher costs if they need to buy medication.
 
Most tragically, a tax on legitimate opioid medicine makes illegal synthetic drugs more attractive to people suffering from addiction . Deaths from black market fentanyl, largely from China, and Mexican cartels, spiked to 5,000 in 2014 and rocketed to over 26,000 in 2017 , according to Bloomberg News. It is illicit fentanyl that is the greatest risk from the opioid crisis now, as new CDC data show .
 
ATR strongly urges you to reject this reckless policy which Governor Lamont and legislative leaders are attempting to rush through at the end of the 2019 session.
 
ATR will be educating Connecticut taxpayers and consumers as to how state legislators vote on these and other important tax, regulatory, and economic matters. If you have any questions, or if ATR can be of assistance, don’t hesitate to contact me or Doug Kellogg, ATR State Projects Director, at dkellogg@atr.org or 202-785-0266
 
Sincerely,
 
Grover Norquist
President
Americans for Tax Reform