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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Democratic Senators Fighting Part of Obamacare

Under Obamacare, seniors pay higher taxes for the honor of being rejected for necessary treatments. Higher taxes on drugs took effect last year and beginning on January first unless some Democratic Party senators have their way, there will be a tax on medical devices. Each of these taxes will hurt seniors the most as they are more heavily dependent on these products.

The medical device provision of Obamacare imposes a excise tax on medical device manufacturers equal to 2.3 percent of the wholesale price. The items taxed include devices crucial for our older citizens, such as pacemakers, hip joint replacements, powered wheelchairs, hearing aids, Prosthetic heart valve rotators among others. It excludes retail sales and unspecified medical devices sold to the general public, but the costs will be passed down to the end users.

This particular provision was not one of those "Nancy Pelosi-find out after it's passed surprises," it was known and discussed during the Obamacare debates.

Now according to the Wall Street Journal, 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. Not because of the higher taxes on senior citizens, but because it will hurt the manufacturers.

Med Device Letter 12102012



According to the Daily Caller,
The 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.

Democrats sent their letter to Reid less than three weeks after dozens of medical device industry executives “swarmed” Capitol Hill in a lobbying push that resulted in more than 60 different meetings with legislators. The trade groups Advanced Medical Technology Association, Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance, and Medical Device Manufacturers Association led the lobbying effort to delay the provision.
 I think the GOP should fight any effort to delay this tax.  It was openly included within a bill that nobody wanted, states such as Michigan and Massachusetts voted to re-elect Obama even though they knew that meant Obamacare would be almost impossible to overturn. Besides aren't the Democrats arguing for more revenues?

Since November 6th conservatives have been told over and over---elections have consequences---well so to congressional votes passing oppressive law.

I urge you to call your senators to fight any effort to delay or repeal this tax.  In fact congress should order a sticker put on each of these devices...."Higher Taxes and Layoffs Brought to You By Obamacare With the Guidance and Support of the AARP."

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