Bipartisan push to repeal ObamaCare’s job-killing medical device tax

“[W]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy,” claimed then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi just before Congress passed ObamaCare. Since that time Americans have come to realize that what’s in the bill is causing their premiums to skyrocket and putting their current coverage at risk.

Congress has also had to repeal different parts of ObamaCare. In 2011, Congress repealed the 1099 reporting requirement, which would have bogged down small businesses with paperwork. More recently, Congress was able to push through repeal of the costly CLASS Act as part of the “fiscal cliff deal.”

Another part of the law, the medical device tax, is now being targeted for repeal. Back in December, a group of 18 Democrats urged Senate Majority Leader to support a delay in the implementation of the tax, which could lead to the loss of 43,000 jobs.

The Hill reported yesterday that there is a significant movement inside the House of Representatives to repeal this job-killing tax:

A bipartisan group of 180 House members — consisting of about 40 percent of the House — has reintroduced a bill to end the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices that was imposed under President Obama’s healthcare law.

That tax took effect at the start of 2013, and is expected to raise a few billion dollars a year in tax receipts for the government, and $30 billion over 10 years. But opponents of the tax say it will hinder innovation and job creation in the medical device industry.

“Placing a new tax on the backs of U.S. medical innovators and entrepreneurs who employ more than 400,000 Americans is not a prescription for economic growth or job creation,” said Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), who sponsored the bill. “In fact, companies have already laid off thousands of employees as a result of this onerous new tax, and more jobs will be lost now that this tax is in effect.

“It’s not only costing our country jobs and deterring innovation, but more importantly, it will reduce patient access to cutting edge medical products and treatments that save lives.”

This isn’t the first time the medical device tax has been targeted for repeal. The Hill notes that Rep. Paulsen introduced a similar measure last year, which was passed 270-146 vote. Unfortunately, it was killed in the Senate after the White House issued a veto threat.

While Republicans in Congress can’t repeal the entire bill or the individual mandate due to the current political atmosphere, they can continue to make a case for individual parts of the law. Picking it apart piece-by-piece will have to suffice for now.

 


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