Senate Celebrates 3rd Anniversary of ObamaCare by Repealing Medical Device Tax
Oh, it will never make it past the president’s desk and veto pen. But, this is going to come back and haunt some Democrats up for re-election in 2014.
The Senate overwhelmingly passed a largely symbolic resolution calling for repeal of a 2.3 percent tax on medical device companies on Thursday, as more than 30 Democrats joined Republicans in approving it.
The tax helps to fund President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare law. It applies to a range of medical products — from bedpans to expensive heart devices — many manufactured in the home states of the senators backing the repeal.
The Senate voted 79–20 to call for repeal of the tax, but the resolution is non-binding and will not change the levy. The symbolic measure will be attached to a non-binding budget measure drafted by Senate Democrats that is expected to pass on Friday.
Full repeal of the tax may be difficult to achieve, given its $30 billion price tag and the opposition of key Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Mind you, this is only a “sense of the Senate” resolution and has no real standing. It was in essence, a “free vote.” Christ, even Tammy Baldwin was “Yea,” which tells you how meaningless a vote it was.
Question of course is — and there will be more votes — how do those roll calls end up? Having tasted blood, the GOP is going to keep coming at this one. For as hated as he is by some in the base, Mitch McConnell knows the rules of the Senate and will use them to his advantage.
This is going to nag at a number of Democrats up for re-election next year, especially in states where their constituents work in the medical device industry…as it should.