On the heels of last Thursday’s bipartisan Senate vote to repeal an Obamacare provision that would slap a 2.3% tax on medical device companies, industry and business groups are making a final lobbying push to knock out costly healthcare provisions embedded in the law before it goes into full effect in eight months.
“It’s going to be a difficult uphill battle,” said National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) policy director Amanda Austin. “But there’s an opportunity to make fixes. And if you can garner bipartisan support in the Senate, and find a way that the changes get paid for, I think it can get done.”
Whether groups like the NFIB and the Chamber of Commerce will be successful in significantly reshaping Obamacare to save money and jobs, however, remains to be seen. But win or lose, say experts, lobbyists will seize the chance to collect a check in the name of rallying for a cause.
“They certainly can’t get past the presidential veto, even if they were to get through the Senate,” said President of the National Coalition on Health Care John Rother. “This is chest-pounding for the benefit of the constituency. It’s a way to get people riled up and write checks. And if you’re a lobbyist, it’s a way to show you’re on the job.”
The Senate’s medical device tax repeal now heads to the House for consideration where its fate is uncertain.