Eighteen Democratic U.S. Senators and senators-elect sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week calling for a “delay in the implementation” of the medical device tax in Obamacare, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The provision was an integral part of the version of the Obamacare law, which was passed in the Senate under Reid’s stewardship in 2009. It is set to take effect on January 1, 2013.
An effort to repeal the provision failed in Congress in June. At the time, Reid characterized the proposed repeal as a Republican attack on Obamacare.
“The medical industry directly employs over 400,000 people in the United States and is responsible for a total of two million high-skilled manufacturing jobs. … With this year quickly drawing to a close, the medical device industry has received little guidance about how to comply with the tax — causing significant uncertainty and confusion for businesses,” according to the letter. “We urge you to support delaying enactment of this provision in a fiscally responsible manner.”
The provision’s 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device manufacturers has sparked panic within the medical devices industry. Indiana-based Zimmer Holdings, which manufactures hip replacement implants, laid off 450 workers in anticipation of $60 million in taxes in 2013. Michigan-based Stryker Corp., which also produces hip implants, laid off 5 percent of its workers in a bid to compensate for the $100 million it will pay in taxes next year.
The provision has proved to be problematic for Democratic senators from states with large numbers of medical device companies. Indiana Senator-elect Joe Donnelly and Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow signed the letter alongside the next Massachusetts Senate delegation, Elizabeth Warren and John Kerry, whose state is home to more than 400 medical device companies. read more here:
Diane, it is not looking good at all for Obamacare. We should have had more faith, I guess. As more and more of this comes out and all those Congressmen/women that failed to read what the voted are beginning to see it now as it is poised to take affect, they are bailing and with the extension of the deadline for States to opt out, I believe we will see the demise of Obamacare without having to be repealed; or even better this will mean that the doors are wide open for repeal of the entire bill.
I am beginning to see the validity of patience here. Wow, Sheila, he lost Warren and Kerry, this is great news. Thought you would appreciate this. Probably the best thing Warren or Kerry have ever done, realized they will lose their support if they don't stand behind them now.
This is a rather stupid tax and really puts the lie to "affordable" in the alleged "Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care" Act since it drives up health care costs and may cause some patients not to get the treatment they need as a result that files in the "patient protection" part of that fraud. But then everything about the Act and the process to get it passed a swell as most of what was done in 2009 on has been a lie. Was listening to Greta Van Susteren on Fox News last night and she doesn't get it either on this issue since her take is it lobbyists protecting the device industry that is the issue rather the increased cost to health care in general that stupid ideas like this cause in addition to the economic effects to the businesses and their employees. Clueless in DC and NYC seems to be affecting almost everyone there.