Why Are Bob Casey and Allyson Schwartz Giving Cover to Republicans on Medical Device Tax Repeal?

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The Republican Party has an fundamentally incoherent position on the Affordable Care Act’s financing.

One Republican complaint is that the ACA increases the deficit. CBO keeps saying that’s wrong, and that it will reduce the deficit, to which Republicans respond that Congress will never really let any of the pay-fors and cost controls go into effect.

The other Republican complaint is that they don’t like any of the pay-fors and want to repeal them.

See how that works? Republicans say the ACA will increase the deficit because Republicans will repeal all the pay-fors.

The latest play is to try to repeal the medical device tax, which medical device manufacturers have been whining about for a few years now, and which would blow a $30 billion hole in the federal budget.

The idea behind this tax as a pay-for was that the expansion of insurance to millions of previously uninsured people will increase the demand for medical devices, resulting in windfall profits for medical device makers. The tax simply recaptures some of those windfall profits to help pay for the insurance expansion. Pretty fair, I think.

But the medical device makers don’t want to help pay for the insurance expansion, so they’re releasing misleading “studies”, trying to brand it a “bedpan tax” when “MRI machine tax” is more appropriate, and doing all the usual things that special interests with weak arguments do.

Except this time, the push to repeal the tax has attracted support from beyond the usual crew of Republican dead-enders auditioning for future careers as industry lobbyists. This time they got Allyson Schwartz and Bob Casey on board to give them bi-partisan cover.

Shame on them. This is just the latest example of Allyson Schwartz never missing an opportunity to protect inflated health care provider prices at the expensive of health care consumers, no matter how ridiculous their arguments.

This entry was posted in Miscellany.

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