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.

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