Jun 19, 2015 - 3:15pm

House Veto-Proof Majority Wants an Obamacare Tax Repealed

Senior Editor, Digital Content


GE Discovery CT750 HD CT scan machine
A GE CT scan machine. Photo credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg.

The House of Representatives made it loud and clear it wants Obamacare's medical device tax gone. The 280-140 veto-proof majority included 46 Democrats.

In 2013, Senators voted 79-20 to add an amendment repealing the tax into the FY 2014 budget.

While the White House has threatened to veto the bill, USA Today reminds us, "Asked specifically about the tax after the [2014] election, Obama didn't rule out a change."

U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President for Government Affairs Bruce Josten welcomed the House vote:

The Chamber applauds today's vote to repeal the 2.3 percent tax on the sale of almost all medical devices, which is harming the ability of American companies to compete and undermining America's global leadership position in product innovation, clinical research, and patient care. If the medical device tax isn't repealed, it will continue to weaken the industry's ability to create and maintain well-paying jobs in the United States and hinder the development of breakthrough treatments.

As we continue to see the destructive effects of the medical device tax hit employers, employees, and the U.S. economy at large, the Chamber urges the Senate take up this bipartisan legislation before further damage is done.

As I wrote in March, ever since Obamacare imposed the 2.3% tax on medical device sales--Speaker Boehner's office has a few examples--it has been a drain on jobs and investment for the American medical device industry:

An Ernst & Young report found that venture capital funding for medical device companies fell 17% in 2013. The environment has become so difficult for medical device startups that Dr. Tom Fogarty, inventor of the balloon catheter, recently declared, "There is no way I could have had the same impact if the tax on medical devices was in place when I got started over 50 years ago." In addition, trade association AdvaMed, found the tax cost 33,000 jobs in its first year.

Another trade association, the Medical Device Manufacturers Association, found that the medical device tax slowed or stopped job growth for 75% of the companies it asked.

It's up to the Senate to take the next step in ending this harmful tax.

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About the Author

About the Author

Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.