TAXING METHADONE PATIENTS - A TERRIBLE IDEA:
The Charleston (WVa) Gazette on March 21 reported on a bill introduced into the State legislature that would impose a unique tax on methadone treatment providers. The Chairman of the Committee on Health and Human Resources (!), Mr. Don Perdue, rationalized this plan claiming methadone treatment “has become a lucrative industry” (compared to what – radiology, cardiology, dermatology . . . ?). Even Mr. Perdue acknowledges that any tax would inevitably be passed on to the patients.
The fact that all methadone treatment in West Virginia is “for-profit”, and the inadequate availability of other forms of addiction treatment, reflect lack of State support for services that are desperately needed. It is simply wrong – and counter to the interests of every West Virginian - to focus on patients seeking to turn their lives around as the source of funds that the State can’t or won’t provide.