How High Is the Price to Repeal the Medical-Device Manufacturer Tax?

by Jim Geraghty

Amy Otto:

The GOP needs to fight against the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, not the medical device tax. Yes, I know the medical device tax hurts companies and, thus, people. We get it. Basic economics. But it doesn’t matter. We are already the party who is known to defend corporations from taxes — and we need to be the party that defends people. . . . Further fighting the Medical Device tax hands Obama his post-shutdown talking points: “the GOP shut down the government to get tax breaks for big business” and our brand will remain the same losing one it’s been for some time. It’s a trap.

Of course, later on Otto writes, “it would have been easier to just let Obamacare fail on its own and not watch party poll numbers drop, but good people defend other Americans when they are about to get run over by a train wreck.” Some would argue that the device tax is bad policy, and bad policy is worth fighting, no matter how the president will attack you afterwards.

But in this fight, we have one party that has been fighting the device tax tooth and nail, and the other party has largely fought to keep it. A few Democrats have opposed the device tax, and say they want to repeal it, but they’re not willing to take on their leadership over it and say, vote for a continuing resolution that included it. As Harry Reid said, “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.”

Either way, in that light . . . why would medical-device manufacturers ever give another dime to another Democrat?

In fact, why would any medical company donate to Democrats?

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