The Campaign Spot

Why Does ‘Catheter’ Come to Mind When I Read About This Medical Device Tax?

Boy, this will go over well among Hoosiers:

The deals included reducing a new excise tax on medical devices from 2.9 percent to 2.3 percent, while applying the tax to more items. A medical industry official said the changes were sought by Reps. Baron Hill and Brad Ellsworth of Indiana and Scott Murphy of New York. All three would vote for the health bill.

Hmm. Among the items included on the list:

(b) TAXABLE MEDICAL DEVICE.—For purposes of this section— (1) IN GENERAL.—The term “taxable medical device” means any device (as defined in section 201(h) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) intended for humans. (2) EXEMPTIONS.—Such term shall not include— (A) eyeglasses, (B) contact lenses, (C) hearing aids, and (D) any other medical device determined by the Secretary to be of a type which is generally purchased by the general public at retail for individual use.

So unless Secretary Sebelius declares otherwise, any medical device is now 2.3 percent more expensive.

Brad Ellsworth: Because the Senate needs the architect of the National Tampon Tax.

Baron Hill: Because your breast pump will help manage our spending crisis.

Scott Murphy: Every time you use a suppository, think of his health-care vote.

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