FLASHBACK: Don’t forget that the House voted to repeal the Medical Device Tax on June 7, 2012 with “H.R. 436, the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2012”. The Senate never did — not then, not now. Who’s looking out for businesses? See my post from June 2012:
This little-talked about tax seems to be absent from news coverage. Are media outlets are avoiding discussion of Obamacare items in advance of the Supreme Court ruling expected later this month? In case you missed it, on June 7th, the House voted 270-146 to repeal the medical excise tax. The bill must now pass the Senate, where current speculation is that it will not pass.
What is the medical excise tax? Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax. It exempts items retailing for <$100. [Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,980-1,986] Many are ardently opposed to the new tax, and rightfully so. As an excise tax, it taxes gross sales – even if the device company doesn't turn a profit that year. Note: this tax is one of many slated to go into effect January 2013. As a revenue raiser, its impact is nominal. The government speculates it could raise $20-$30 billion. Though that sounds like a lot to you and me, it's a drop in the bucket in terms of government revenue. Furthermore, from an business perspective for the companies subject to this tax, the extra resources needed to comply will be burdensome for companies. Price changes and paperwork will take time and manpower away from the company's main purpose -- to produce a product -- in order to handle this new regulation. From a common sense perspective, why would the federal government want to make medical devices -- which save lives -- more expensive? Will the Senate support small businesses and repeal an unnecessary, expensive, and burdonsome tax? The House has done so. The Senate should follow suit.