The House will vote as early as next week to repeal ObamaCare’s medical device tax, an element of the President’s health care law that makes it harder for small businesses to hire new workers.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor sent a notice to all House Republicans that by the end of next week a vote to repeal the medical device tax will be taken. Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) – author of the device tax repeal bill (H.R. 436) – and Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) wrote last fall that the tax “will eliminate more than 40,000 well-paying jobs” and force job creators “to close factories in this country and look overseas” for better opportunities.
Cantor says House members should be prepared to vote on “the draconian tax” that is scheduled to go into effect under ObamaCare. “This tax, to fund a flawed law, will have a negative impact on jobs in the medical device industry. Chairman Dave Camp and the Ways and Means Committee have done an excellent job highlighting this issue, as well as ObamaCare’s ban on the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and other accounts to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, we should all be able to agree on Erik Paulsen’s bill to repeal the medical device tax (H.R. 436) and Lynn Jenkins’ bill to repeal the OTC ban (H.R. 5842). I expect a vote on the Paulsen and Jenkins bills as early as the week of June 4,” writes Cantor.
The Wall Street Journal argues of the tax, “Companies at make-or-break margins could be taxed out of existence, especially in an intensely competitive industry where four of five businesses are start-ups or midsized.” Unless repealed, the tax would mean “less innovation, fewer jobs, higher health costs.”
In his online blog, Speaker of the House John Boehner writes: “George Will recently explained how the threat of this new ObamaCare tax is already hurting job creators and sending American jobs overseas:
Cook Medical [the world’s largest family-owned medical devices company] is no longer planning to open a U.S. factory a year. Boston Scientific, planning for a more than $100 million charge against earnings in 2013, recently built a $35 million research and development facility in Ireland and is building a $150 million factory in China. (Capital goes where it is welcome and stays where it is well-treated.) Stryker Corp., based in Michigan, blames the tax for 1,000 layoffs. Zimmer, based in Indiana, is laying off 450 and taking a $50 million charge against earnings. Medtronic expects an annual charge against earnings of $175 million.Covidien, now based in Ireland, has cited the tax in explaining 200 layoffs and a decision to move some production to Costa Rica and Mexico.”
Speaker Boehner recently said, Republicans “voted to fully repeal the president’s health care law as one of our first acts as a new House majority, and our plan remains to repeal the law in its entirety.”
Information from Cantor and Boehner’s political blogs.