Friday, November 13, 2015

The War on Cash Grows More Painful

By Joseph T. Salerno

A bill unanimously recommended for passage by the Wisconsin Assembly Committee and now being considered by the Wisconsin Assembly bans payment in cash for all treatments at "pain clinics."   Bill 366 is ostensibly aimed at so-called "pill mills," which dispense prescription painkillers for recreational use.  However, the bill broadly defines a pain clinic as "a place that treats chronic pain, pain lasting longer than 3 months, even if the clinic does not dispense narcotics or other prescription drugs."  Even spine and sports clinics that provide interventional injections for nerve pain caused by conditions like sciatica fall under the bill's purview.  The bill potentially affects a large number of patients because, according to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), "Spine conditions are the fourth leading cause of physician visits."

The only exception to the prohibition on cash payments is insured patients, who are permitted to pay cash--but only for co-payments or deductibles.  However, the bill perversely stipulates that only uninsured patients are permitted to use credit, a credit card, a check, or a draft--but of course not cash--to purchase pain treatments.  Insured patients must depend on their insurance company to pay for their treatments.  As Dr Jane Orient, executive director of  AAPS points out, the bill  precludes two groups from freely using there own income to purchase relief from potentially agonizing pain:  1. insured patients whose insurance companies deny their claims; and 2. uninsured persons of limited means who do not have a checking account or credit card.

  The above originally appeared at


  1. So poor people who don't have bank accounts and operate on cash will not have access to perscription meds. I thought the government cared about the poor? This is truly the war on poverty.

  2. What about massage therapy, acupuncture, reflexologists, therapeutic yoga and chiropractors? They can't accept cash? WTF? This must be aimed at those that can actually relieve pain and funnel people into the pharmaceutical model of pain relief which is actually just masking symptoms and encouraging dependency.

  3. I thought the more said. This note is good for all debts public and private. The state of Wisconsin will have a ruff time with this one.