Senators Say They Oppose Medical Device Tax, Vote Against Repeal
Minnesota Senate Democrats Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, along with others from their party, will answer to their constituents and leaders in the medical device industry for voting against the repeal of ObamaCare’s medical device tax in the continuing resolution battle with the House.
The Senate voted 54-46 along party lines to reject a funding bill approved by the House Sunday because it would delay ObamaCare’s individual mandate for one year and repeal the medical device tax.
According to Medical Product Outsourcing:
The negotiations have put Democratic backers of the medical device tax repeal in a tough spot. The Senate vote along party lines on Monday included votes from Democrats who have been active in efforts to strip the Affordable Care Act of the device tax, including Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken (Minn.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), and others.
In March, the Senate voted to repeal the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices, with 34 Democrats joining in the repeal. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Max Baucus, who chaired the committee that drafted the tax, voted to maintain it.
“We cannot have taxes that put us at a competitive disadvantage against the rest of the world,” Sen. Klobuchar said at the time.
Minnesota is home to hundreds of medical device companies that together employ thousands of Americans.
In December of last year, Sen. Franken referred to the medical device tax as a “job-killing tax” that will not only cost jobs but also make it more difficult for American medical device manufacturers to be competitive and innovative.
Franken’s website touts:
As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Senator Franken worked for months with Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Democrat from Montana and Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, to try to reduce the proposed medical device tax, the tax was successfully cut in half, from $40 billion to $20 billion. While this was a tremendous improvement, Senator Franken will be fighting hard to continue to further reduce the unfair burden on the medical device industry.
Franken, Klobuchar, and the other Senate Democrats who worked to repeal the medical device tax in the past just voted to keep it in place.