If Health Care Bill is Revived, Let Medical Device Tax Stay Dead

By January 29, 2010Health Care, Taxation

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) from The Congressional Record, page E90:

[In] another bad move for my State, the Senate version proposes an additional $2 billion annual tax for each of the next 10 years on medical device manufacturers. This would negatively affect good companies, such as GE Healthcare in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and hundreds of our small business suppliers. In addition to stifling innovation and hindering research and development, the added costs would hurt consumers, as anyone purchasing medical products, such as wheelchairs, or whose care includes the use of equipment, such as an MRI machine, would feel the pinch. 

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  • “Use Senate reconciliation and expand Medicare via the Senate’s buy-in provisions. The CBO has already signed off on this as a means of saving money.

    More importantly, if more Americans can do a buy-in with Medicare, it creates more cost control (because there’s a genuine “public option” competitor).

    It also helps to solve the problems of pre-existing conditions, because Medicare does not deny coverage on this basis.

    Allowing a Medicare buy-in to Americans under 65 would give people a genuine alternative to private insurance and thereby render the pre-existing question moot.

    It would also lower Medicare costs by expanding the risk pool of patients (the great bulk of medical expenses are accounted for by a small number of people, mostly the elderly, requiring very expensive treatment).

    And it would substantially enhance the global competitiveness of American corporations. After all, in what other country in the world is health care a marginal cost of production for business?” – Roosevelt Institute Marshall Auerback

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