Some Dems Say Medical Device Tax Repeal Is A 'Moronic' Idea: by Sahil Kapur // Talking Points Memo
"A tax on medical device manufacturers under Obamacare has become a top target in the shutdown and debt limit showdowns. The House has voted to repeal the tax and the push has bipartisan support in the Senate. It was floated by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) during a White House meeting Friday as part of a broader proposal to resolve the impasse."
Here's the back story: during the health care reform debate of 2009, major industry players -- hospitals, doctors, insurers and others -- came to the negotiating table and offered substantial concessions in exchange for the new customers the law would bring them. The medical device industry, however, refused to play ball and got slapped with the 2.3 percent excise tax, which will raise roughly $30 billion over 10 years to help finance the law.
Device makers have since waged an all-out war against the tax, warning that it would harm jobs, growth and medical innovation. AdvaMed, the industry's top lobbying group, has made it its mission to repeal the fee, and is winning the fight by already making the provision an exceedingly rare component of Obamacare which faces strong bipartisan opposition.
"We are very pleased with the broad bipartisan interest in repealing the device tax, and the level of focus and attention to this urgent issue," said Wanda Moebius, a spokesperson for AdvaMed. "The House has now passed repeal legislation twice in a bipartisan fashion. We urge Congress to act to address this onerous tax this year, which has already resulted in lost jobs, cuts in R&D and threatens our global leadership in the development of new medical technologies."
Repealing the tax got the votes of No. 2 and No. 3 Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), along with liberal stalwarts like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Al Franken (D-MN). The Republican-led House is strongly supportive of axing it.
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