Harry Reid: Repeal of that “stupid” medical device tax won’t go in the CR
posted at 6:01 pm on September 26, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
At first, I wasn’t quite sure if he was referring to the medical device tax as “the stupid tax” in the sense that he is simply fed up with its detractors for making so much hay over it, but it certainly does sound like he’s just calling the medical device tax itself just straight-up stupid, no?
Listen, I know you have been listening, but we want a clean CR — that’s what we’re going to get. If they want to shut down the government, here’s how much time they have to figure out it: 4 days, 11 hours, 22 minutes, and 15 seconds. No, they can play around all they want. Some of the biggest supporters for doing away with the stupid tax — I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that — doing away with that tax have told me they won’t support that on CR.
As the Left somehow seems perfectly capable of acknowledging when they propose sin taxes on things they don’t like such as cigarettes, junk food, and guns, taxes are a reliable way for encouraging less of something — but why for goodness’ sake ObamaCare’s authors and supporters want to deter medical-device innovation when the ostensible point of this entire charade is to help bring down health care costs, even they can’t seem to adequately answer.
With its job-killing consequences readily apparent, repeal of the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices has gotten plenty of bipartisan support on Capitol Hill with majorities in both the House and Senate on board to get rid of it. I doubt Reid would want to bring to a vote anything undermining the health care law at this, its critical stage, no matter how much Democrats themselves oppose it; but anyway, as Reid suggested, the Senate’s repeal advocates will likely wait for the debt-ceiling showdown to try and force it, via Politico:
The leading Senate backers of a push to repeal the medical device tax are warning that the government funding bill currently under consideration isn’t the right venue for this fight.
“Right now, it’s not part of the strategy,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, the leading Democratic sponsor of legislation that would repeal the 2.3 percent levy on device manufacturers.
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, the top Republican on the Finance Committee who wrote medical device tax repeal legislation with Klobuchar, agreed.
He said it would be better to include the repeal in legislation to raise the debt ceiling.
“We’re going to go after that, but it’s probably going to be on the debt limit,” he said. “There’s a difference: [The CR] is not particularly a tax bill. And there’s a question about putting it there. The next bill is a tax bill.”