Obamacare’s Medical-Device Tax
Higher taxes, lower research spending, and pink slips for scientists.


Deroy Murdock

America and Earth need more such inventions, plus continuous improvements after introduction. Why can’t diabetics enjoy pumps that automatically monitor blood sugars and inject insulin — essentially artificial pancreases? Every dollar this proposed tax whisks to Washington is one less dollar available for the research and development needed to make such medical dreams come true.

“Clearly, the Democrats are looking for any way to offset the cost of their proposed health-care plan,” says New York financier Brett A. Shisler, a member of the Manhattan Institute’s Young Leaders Circle. “However, they may have neglected the fact that these devices not only save lives, but cut overall health-care costs. As a diabetic who uses a Deltec CoZmo insulin pump to manage my glucose levels, I visit the doctor half as often, eliminated my annual hospital visits, and likely reduced any future diabetes-related complications, as compared to when I was administering insulin through daily injections.”

“The situation all comes down to shared responsibility,” Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) told journalists on October 19. “We’re all in this together as Americans. That means individuals, providers, hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry — and medical device manufacturers.”

Baucus is correct. Medical-gear makers should underwrite their fair share of whatever health-care reform might become law. They should do this by paying their corporate taxes, just like any other company. Period. Taxing this industry to overhaul health care is as boneheaded as charging police-car manufacturers a dedicated anti-crime tax.

These enterprises help Americans enjoy longer, happier, healthier lives. Why do Democrats want to give them 40 billion lashes, rather than applaud their priceless work?

Obama, Baucus, and too many Democrats have an almost touching naïveté about how the world works. Pounding this industry with punitive taxes will yield fewer — not more — life-extending and life-enhancing innovations.

Higher taxes, lower research spending, and pink slips for scientists: Democrat beatings will continue until medicine improves.

— Deroy Murdock is a New York-based columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution. 


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