Subsidies for Drunk Drivers? Drinks on the House!

by NW Spotlight

Some legislators apparently believe that law-abiding people should have to subsidize criminal behavior

The House Health Care Committee is considering legislation that would require insurers to pay for the court-ordered addiction treatment for drunk drivers — in other words, law-abiding people pay higher health insurance premiums to subsidize drunk drivers’ court-ordered treatments, which often are offered as an alternative to jail time.

Current law already requires health insurance to pay for chemical dependency treatment and for other mental health treatments as part of what’s called “mental health parity.”

But court-ordered treatment for sex offenders and drunk drivers is exempt from the law.  These people don’t need to be “encouraged” to get treatment.  They will get treatment under court order because they’ve broken the law, and having to pay their own costs is part of their punishment.

Some legislators apparently believe that law-abiding people should have to subsidize criminal behavior.

HB2324 is sponsored by Reps. Greenlick (D-Portland), Dembrow (D-Portland) and Barnhart (D-Eugene) and Sen. Bates (D-Medford).

The House Health Care Committee is scheduled to take action on the bill today.


  • Oregonnative

    Wow, no comments. I very rarely make a comment, but there is those of use that read these post and have to make a comment once in awhile.

    First of all the MADD Organization has gone way to far, in having laws that are enacted through the years with legistration ( feel good), that are dranconian, with DWI ‘s. More first timers are arrested each year at a cost of about $4000.00 per 1st incidendent. These first timers are also require to spend more in classes and are never ever unable to have another DWI within 10 years.

    SO NOW WE HAVE A LEGISTRATION THAT : requires the taxpayer to have more
    taxes because, as MADD has made the earlier conditions above.

    So now as this HB2324 is written, we ALSO HAVE TO ( people that hire more people) pay more taxes to assist people who have broken the law). They are not responsible and society has to pay there legal fees and inuendo’s.

  • Anon

    The real questions are whether these classes cost the state less than jail time; whether they will be more effective at reducing drunk driving; and whether people are able to contribute more to society (i.e., earn a living wage to keep their family afloat, pay taxes, etc.) while taking these classes as opposed to serving time in jail.

    From the data I have seen, the answer is “yes” across the board.

  • Bob Clark

    Dissolve all existing government bodies immediately, and hire some Matt Dillions to just provide some protection. I am tired of this stink’n governance making chumps of most all of us. Let’s start over with the Code of the West.

  • Stonedpapa

    Listen folks, there is nothing worth doing more than saving some drunk from destruction.
    This is money well spent, and if you have a car, you can afford to help a worthless drunk.
    Also, MADD has NOT done enough. One drunk on the road driving is one too many.
    Take their car.
    Better yet, sell their car and use that money to pay for their “treatment” rather than have us foot the bill.
    Also, if the government has anything to do with the treatment, will it work?
    I doubt it.
    Lastly, does anyone really read this catalyst thing anymore? Most articles have only about two or three comments. What a joke.
    Finally, if you drink and drive, make sure you have a car.

  • Anonymous

    More on mental health parity: The safe harbor for outpatient benefits,

  • Ballistic45

    Hold on here, lets take a new look at this situation.. If a Conceal Carry drunk was waving a gun around endangering the masses, liberals would be on the streets demanding he loose his Conceal Carry permit and increase anti-gun laws… No one will care to get help for the drunk. You can take that to the Bank..

    But let the lethal device become a vehicle instead of a gun and the liberals will throw their arms around the shoulders of the drunk and demand others pay for his treatment… Oh, they will acknowledge he must have his driving privileges suspended, But you can bet they won’t demand all drivers loose their right to drive…

    Can anyone else see a problem with this picture…

  • Founding Fathers

    So, what if we just lock them away in jail. Who pays for that? Oh yeah, it’s those same taxpayers, except we’ll be paying much more.

    So much for “fiscal conservatives.”

  • This is what happens when governments create committees to sit around and make up ‘new’ reasons why someone else’s rights or money should be conscripted by the government.