NY Times: Say, Getting Rid Of The Ocare Medical Device Tax Is A Bad Idea

In Liberal World, getting rid of any tax is a bad idea. This comes our way via the extremely well paid people who sit on the low diversity Editorial Board

No Case for Killing the Medical Device Tax

In seeking to dismantle the Affordable Care Act piece by piece, congressional Republicans have placed a high priority on repealing a tax on medical devices that would raise some $29 billion over the next 10 years to help ensure that health reform will not increase the deficit. Repealing the tax is a terrible idea that has been given a veneer of respectability by support from liberal Democrats in states with large concentrations of device manufacturers. They include Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken of Minnesota and Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin, among others. President Obama ought to veto any bill that eliminates the tax.

I can think of one reason right off the bat: the costs of imposing the tax will primarily hurt low and middle class Americans, unlike those who get paid very well at the NY Times.

The health reform law imposes a modest 2.3 percent tax on sales of medical devices, to be paid by the manufacturers or importers. It applies to such products as X-ray machines, M.R.I. scanners, pacemakers and artificial hip and knee joints but not to eyeglasses, contact lenses and hearing aids. The $29 billion to be raised from the device industry is less than the amounts to be raised from insurers and drug companies, all of which will benefit from increased business under the act and should pay their fair shares of the cost. If the lost revenues from a repeal of the device tax are offset by reduced spending on other health care programs, as they might well be, many patients could suffer medical or financial harm.

Fair share, huh? The extra costs will be passed on to consumers in some form or fashion.

Some parts of the industry are thriving. In Warsaw, Ind., which bills itself as the “Orthopedic Capital of the World,” demand for artificial hips and knees and other orthopedic devices appears to be growing and companies are scrambling to hire more people.

“Some.” And any extra taxes on the devices increase the cost of the devices. Most taxes and “fees” tend to harm the lower and middle class American citizens. There is bipartisan support for repeal, including Nancy Pelosi. And it is doing harm to medical businesses, despite what is claimed in the editorial.

I bet if the tax was changed to, say, a 2.3% tax on sales of newspapers, which would be paid by the newspaper, you can bet that the Times would be against it in a heartbeat.

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8 Responses to “NY Times: Say, Getting Rid Of The Ocare Medical Device Tax Is A Bad Idea”

  1. Deserttrek says:

    this is no different than the low life scum that tax food … no necessity for life or health should be taxed …. a knee replacement or orthopedic device is not a vanity surgery

  2. The Quadfather says:

    If the tax was levied against the newspapers, the newspapers would raise the price of the papers to their carriers while not allowing them to pass the extra costs to their customers. This is how liberals do business. The poor carrier gets squeezed.

  3. Jeffery says:

    You miss the point. The “government takeover” of healthcare is further enriching the suppliers by creating millions more customers. Insurance companies, drug companies and yes, device manufacturers, through no efforts on their own, will have millions of new customers. Poor folks who previously didn’t have the means to afford an MRI procedure or knee or hip replacement surgery now can, heavily subsidized by the government. A 2.3% tax on a $150 billion a year industry was a reasonable compromise.

    Here’s what your link about harming the industry had to say (authored by an industry trade group spokesperson):

    Further, early forecasts of catastrophe for the industry to do not appear to be playing out. A recent report from EP Vantage concludes that thirteen of the fifteen largest medical-device makers increased headcount in 2013, and two of the three who shrunk did so through selling subsidiaries. This is not what were led to expect before the excise tax started to bite.

    It’s to be expected that the industry being taxed would spend millions lobbying Congress to repeal the tax. Further, the trade groups and lobbyists can be expected to “push to envelope” of truth in their campaign to protect their clients’ profits.

  4. david7134 says:

    That is really a comment. Now, consider that you have zero knowledge of the medical industry. You have no idea how anything is effecting doctors, nurses and hospitals. You make bizarre assumptions that people could not obtain care, but you don’t realize that they were never prevented from getting anything they needed regardless of financial status. You don’t understand that the large deductibles for health care really do keep people from choosing to have procedures preformed. You don’t understand the enormous cost to our government for the AHA. You have no idea of the financial health of even your local hospital, much less others. I could go on and on, but at the end of the day, you have no idea of what you are talking about.

  5. jl says:

    “A 2.3% tax on a 150 billion dollar a year industry is a reasonable compromise.” Says who? What does the dollar value of the industry have to do with it? Irrelevant. And of course they’re already paying taxes, correct?

  6. Jeffery says:


    Do you really believe that the uninsured are getting joint replacements, subcutaneous glucose monitors and routine MRIs? You claim to be a physician. When you prescribed a knee replacement for an uninsured woman, who paid for it? Who paid for the MRIs that might help the diagnosis but were not absolutely necessary?

    Do you understand how our employer-based insurance system works? Why do you suppose employers offer such good policies? You’re right! The US government subsidizes them with tax breaks!

    For good or ill, insurance companies use deductibles and co-pays as a market device to discourage their customers from using insurance for “trivial” complaints.

  7. david7134 says:

    In 40 years as a physician, I never, ever saw anyone who did not receive what they needed, until the passage of the AHA and then mandated controls by insurance companies and the government have begun to limit choices and key testing as well as treatment. I will not explain it to someone so stupid, as your party describes you.

  8. Hoss says:

    Well, the device tax keeps all those evil doctors from performing an amputation when all the patient needed was some stitches, as Obama suggested. The left continue to fuck everything up.

    But, I too am against repealing the tax: the more people that stand in opposition to it means the better it’s chances for repeal. You start tinkering around the edges and it gives less incentive for certain trade groups and industries to oppose it.

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