By Jason Williams
Taxpayers Association of Oregon
Who would have guessed that the day that I posted an article criticizing the CAT Tax for destroying a 90 year old business and a beloved pharmacy chain, would be the the very same day the CAT tax would come to bite me.
It began before the sun rose this morning when I couldn’t sleep do to an excruciating pain caused by a tooth infection. Later that morning, I got some quick dental work done. Turns out, it was a major infection. I was given a dose of antibiotics followed with a prescription to get more antibiotics to take later that day. When I hit the pharmacy at 11:00AM I was told they are short staffed and it would be impossible to fill a prescription for the rest of the entire day. They simply could not fill a prescription given 10 hours left in the day. I would have to come back tomorrow. I said “What the hell do I do? I am on a scheduled dosage.” She said I would have shop around the city at various pharmacies until I found one that wasn’t busy.
That is all you need to know right there.
You see the Corporate Activities Tax (CAT Tax) hit pharmacies very hard in Oregon because the tax goes after revenue and not profits. Pharmacies are a high revenue with slimmer profits type of industry. The CAT Tax destroyed this Forest Grove pharmacy. The CAT Tax destroyed the entire Bi-Mart pharmacy chain. Lawmakers have even been debating rescuing the industry by exempting them from the Cat Tax (oops, we didn’t mean to wreck you).
In addition to the CAT Tax, Oregon pharmacies were hit hard by the historic labor shortage. Oregon slammed their health care industry when they required health care workers to be vaccinated or be fired. Only six states in America had such a strict rule.
Most states had no requirement at all. Those other states that did, offered a flexible option like weekly testing for the unvaccinated. Oregon was among the half of states that continued offering big bonuses to those jobless who remained at home — basically offering more money to not work rather than to work. Nearly half of the states cut this disincentive off early in order to get people back to work, but not Oregon.
Back to my story. Having pharmacies force people to wait in long lines and then to tell them they can’t help them and that they need to travel around the city to hunt down the medicine they need is a direct result of Oregon’s liberal laws, regulations and taxes like the CAT tax. Liberal politicians are pushing Oregon health care experiences more and more into the direction of a dysfunctional socialist style bureaucracy of long lines, poor service and empty shelves. We need a health care system that is patient-based and not bureaucracy-based.
Luckily, I did find my meds (photo), but I fear for those more vulnerable who didn’t — all because of high taxes and high bureaucracy.
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