Recently, our State Legislature was considering a tax on prescription opioid medications, a proposal that could have raised health care costs in order to fund our government’s response to the opioid epidemic.
Prescription drug costs have been increasing for far too long, and despite lawmakers’ best efforts, Montana’s families and employers are being forced to allocate a significant chunk of hard-earned money for health care costs. Given the state of health care pricing today, it was concerning to see legislators even consider legislation that would have raised drug costs even further.
Thankfully, our leaders in in the state legislature were able to come to an agreement that funds our state’s response to opioid addiction and overdose with existing state funds. House Bill 654, one of the bills that included an opioid tax, will now see its response efforts funded by dollars allocated from the Department of Justice.
I hope that this will serve as an example for how Montana should handle tax negotiations going forward.