Want to Get Rid of Obamacare? Then Don’t Repeal the Medical Device Tax

 

shutterstock_143224918American voters, wanting relief from Obamacare, fired many of the Democrat Senators who rammed it through Congress.  That lesson doesn’t matter nearly as much to some senators as the $30 million spent by medical device makers trying to repeal the specific Obamacare tax applied to them. The device makers—who didn’t oppose passage of the Affordable Care Act—are now poised to get preferential treatment in the proposed Senate Republican budget. Their industry may cut to the front of the line for legislative relief, while the citizens who are paying some $300 billion in ACA taxes will have to wait. And wait. And wait.

Dean Clancy, a former medical device maker executive and a health policy expert writes about it here,  and grassroots advocate Ken Hoagland writes about it here. This is the beginning of a pattern. Next in line are the insurance companies, with legislation to repeal an onerous tax they don’t like.

There may be automatic sympathy for tax cuts on the right. But repealing the medical device tax now is inane if you are serious about wanting to repeal the Affordable Care Act. These are corporate interests who won’t be around for a 2017 repeal/replace fight that benefits everyone if they’ve already solved their own problems.  Indeed, some of them might then be on the wrong side in 2017.

Republicans ought to be clear that their strategy is focused on what is essential for actually achieving repeal and reform in 2017.  In the short-term, we’ll try to mitigate any damage caused by Obamacare – so there should be a temporary delay, or moratorium, on the medical device tax. But there is no cutting ahead of the American people. Come 2017, corporate interests should be in the same line, backing up the voters and helping with repeal for all.

 

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  1. user_966256 Member
    user_966256
    @BobThompson

    Makes sense to me, but with the current Senate leadership crony capitalism is king.

    • #1
  2. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Hugh Hewitt, whose law firm represents some device manufacturers, has been using his show to lobby for this cronyism for a long time. Between that and Hewitt’s championing of the corrupt cronyism at the ExIm bank I’ve had to stop listening to him.

    There is no one so dangerous as those who talk the talk while taking advantage of the system behind the scenes. Let the device manufacturers wait, I say.

    • #2
  3. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    I doubt it will make a difference either way. I don’t think keeping the tax is going to have much influence in how much of the whole law gets repealed.

    Even if the Republicans have both houses and the Presidency after 2016, suddenly it’s going to be “too hard” and we “don’t want to be hasty” with people’s health care.

    “We don’t have 60 votes in the Senate” blah, blah… You’ll see Republicans start to hedge on its repeal if it starts to look like they’ll actually have the numbers to do it.

    • #3
  4. Mario the Gator Inactive
    Mario the Gator
    @Pelayo

    If Republicans don’t try to repeal and replace Obamacare with a Republican President and Legislature, I will simply stop voting in any future elections.  What difference would it make if they act just like Democrats?

    • #4
  5. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Pelayo:If Republicans don’t try to repeal and replace Obamacare with a Republican President and Legislature, I will simply stop voting in any future elections. What difference would it make if they act just like Democrats?

    There’s very little difference between the parties, but they are very good at using rhetoric to make them sound more left and right wing around elections. And it works, because “we can’t let the other party win, they’re radical!” and who else are you going to vote for?

    • #5
  6. Ross C Member
    Ross C
    @RossC

    I don’t understand the impetus here, wouldn’t a repeal of the device tax just shift the burden of Obama care spending over to the general deficit by the same amount?

    This seems almost Grey Davis in its cronyism.

    • #6
  7. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    The medical device manufacturers will go bankrupt, don’t you see! How are they to find 2% more efficiency in their process?? They just won’t make any money if they are taxed 2% more!

    Of course they have been making money for the last several years despite this tax. That is not to say I don’t want less tax and regulation across the board, including for medical device manufacturers. I just don’t support the wealthy and powerful carving out exceptions just for themselves, as Heather argues.

    • #7
  8. Mario the Gator Inactive
    Mario the Gator
    @Pelayo

    Mike H:

    Pelayo:If Republicans don’t try to repeal and replace Obamacare with a Republican President and Legislature, I will simply stop voting in any future elections. What difference would it make if they act just like Democrats?

    There’s very little difference between the parties, but they are very good at using rhetoric to make them sound more left and right wing around elections. And it works, because “we can’t let the other party win, they’re radical!” and who else are you going to vote for?

    Can we import Nigel Farage and the UKIP?

    • #8
  9. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    All of the problems in medicine are on the wrong side, most especially the insurance industry.

    • #9
  10. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    The device companies wine dine and substantially bribe medical personnel the way Big Pharma used to.  I have no sympathy for the bribers or the bribed.  Ethical companies get punished by being less competitive but the industry and its recipients need to police themselves.

    As far as taxes, keep the thumbscrews on all of them.

    • #10
  11. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    The repeal of the medical device tax is of the same cloth as all the Obamacare waivers that were handed out right from the start. I said then that the GOP and conservatives should oppose all waivers: all those exemptions did was reduce the pressure to reform or replace. Same with the device tax.

    Once the people vote for social democracy, let them have it – good and hard.

    • #11
  12. user_541971 Member
    user_541971
    @DavidDeeble

    Agreed and thanks for the article. Image how much more odious the medical device tax would be perceived, though, if it were supported by Republicans rather than Democrats.

    • #12
  13. Limestone Cowboy Coolidge
    Limestone Cowboy
    @LimestoneCowboy

    David Deeble:

    David Deeble:Agreed and thanks for the article. Image how much more odious the medical device tax would be perceived, though, if it were supported by Republicans rather than Democrats.

    Also, somebody kill me because I can’t delete this comment.

    Dave, surprisingly I find nothing in the CoC that would prevent me from doing just that…   when’s the next meetup?

    • #13
  14. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Heather Higgins: There may be automatic sympathy for tax cuts on the right. But repealing the medical device tax now is inane if you are serious about wanting to repeal the Affordable Care Act. These are corporate interests who won’t be around for a 2017 repeal/replace fight that benefits everyone if they’ve already solved their own problems. Indeed, some of them might then be on the wrong side in 2017.

    I agree with this prediction.

    You are absolutely right.

    • #14
  15. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @ChrisB

    The device makers—who didn’t oppose passage of the Affordable Care Act—are now poised to get preferential treatment in the proposed Senate Republican budget.

    Since these companies were big supporters of the ACA legislation, and the ACA is proving to be more expensive than originally anticipated (by it’s proponents’ anyway), the ethical thing to do is increase the medical device tax to defray the costs borne by the the people.

    Isn’t it the patriotic duty of these companies to pay their fair share? And since these companies are all corporations (legally people) who are basically millionaires and billionaires anyway, I propose they be taxed like the 1 percent that they are.

    We should raise the medical device tax to 36% until the cost curve bends down like the Democrats all said it would.

    • #15
  16. Mark Thatcher
    Mark
    @GumbyMark

    Agree completely. All you need to know about the repeal of this tax is that Senator Warren also supports it

    • #16

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