Health Care

Will Portman Support Huge Tax Breaks for the Drug Makers That Fueled Ohio’s Opioid Crisis?


Ohio’s Attorney General is suing five opioid manufacturers. He alleges that they used misleading information—including that opioids were not addictive and that addiction could be overcome by taking more opioids—to promote their drugs. He says this helped fuel the epidemic in Ohio.

What does this have to do with TrumpCare? Drug manufacturers and importers get a huge tax break in TrumpCare—$26 billion over 10 years. The five companies being sued by Ohio’s Attorney General would see a tax break somewhere between $4 million and $220 million, depending on sales in a given year.

Will Senator Portman stand with the drug companies fueling Ohio’s opioid epidemic, or stand with his constituents whose healthcare TrumpCare would rip away?

SAMPLE CALL DIALOGUE

Caller:  Hello! My name is [name] and I’m calling from [part of state]. Can you tell me how the Senator plans to vote on TrumpCare, the Better Care Reconciliation Act?

Staffer:  The Senator hasn’t made a decision on that yet. He has a lot of concerns though.

Caller:  Senator Portman needs to oppose this awful bill once and for all. In 2015, 3,310 Ohioans died from opioid addiction. Over 220,000 Ohioans are currently receiving treatment for opioid addiction through the exchanges or through Medicaid, which this bill decimates. How could Senator Portman support that?

Staffer: The Senator is committed to fighting the opioid crisis. That’s why he is pleased this bill has extra funding for that purpose.

Caller: The $45 billion that Mitch McConnell threw into the bill to buy off Senator Portman and Senator Capito is pathetic and Senator Portman shouldn’t be fooled by it. Estimates show the cost of coverage for people treated for opioid abuse in Ohio is $2.2 billion—yet Ohio’s share of that $45 billion pot would only be $272 million. That’s barely a tenth of what’s needed!

Staffer:  The Senator is proud of his record on opioid abuse. He is leading the charge in the Senate to fight the opioid epidemic, and he was the main sponsor of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which Congress passed and the President signed into law.  

Caller:  I’m glad the Senator is proud of his record. That’s all the more reason he should stand up to TrumpCare. This bill gives a massive tax break to drug manufacturers—$26 billion over ten years. You can find it in Table 2 of the CBO score. That includes five drug makers that the Attorney General of Ohio is currently suing for helping to fuel the opioid epidemic with misleading information. Does Senator Portman think these drug makers deserve a tax break after what they’ve done to our state?

Staffer: I’m not sure. I’ll be sure to let the Senator know your thoughts.

Caller: Yes, please tell Senator Portman that I want him to oppose this bill no matter what. And please take down my information. I will be watching closely and would like to receive an update on how Senator Portman votes.