Kill The Pill Tax in Georgia - By Joel Aaron Foster
There’s a sneak-a-tax still lurking beneath the waters in this late hour before the close of the 2014 Georgia General Assembly and it could cause the costs of your medicines to go up while discouraging jobs and business expansion in Georgia’s pharmaceuticals industry. This tax, called a “supplemental rebate” fee on pharmaceutical manufacturers, is something AFP activists fought against last year and Governor Deal removed from his budget earlier this year. A short time later, the state’s Department of Community Health stuck it back in their budget proposal, now sitting in the House Appropriations Health sub-committee. The effort is now on to be vigilant and make sure this item is removed from the state budget and does not pass under cover in the final hours of the session. The tax will total $3.7 million, of which $1.3 million goes to the state. This amounts to a sales tax. It is a tax on top of the required rebates that would be a “pay-to-play” or a “cover-charge”, a starting point in the discussion for patients to be able to access needed medicines. It punishes private sector businesses with a new tax burden that threatens to raise the cost of
Through the federal Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, state Medicaid programs already receive a far better deal from innovator pharmaceutical manufacturers than any other customer in the nation. Georgia’s rebate program collections have already increased dramatically with Obamacare implementation as the pharmaceuticals industry finds itself squeezed at both ends by plummeting Medicaid reimbursement rates coupled with arbitrarily proposed additional costs such as this.
It’s simple – a tax on each unit sold punishes companies that do business in Georgia and this is creating bigger government.
If our legislature proceeds with this new tax, Georgia will be the first state in the country to unilaterally impose a new tax on the innovative pharmaceutical industry. This new tax on the pharmaceutical industry will put us at a significant disadvantage in recruiting innovative industry to Georgia; keep our industry right here in Georgia; and provide quality medicines to those who need it. We need your help to let the House Appropriations committee know they need to kill this tax!
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