GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is criticizing his opponent Joe Donnelly for supporting a tax on medical devices which is included in the federal Affordable Care Act. But, Donnelly says he has always opposed the tax.
The medical device excise tax would place a 2.3-percent tax on the sale price of medical devices — everything from artificial joints to hospital beds. For the state’s more than three hundred medical device manufacturers – who collectively employ more than 48,000 Hoosiers – the tax is a cause for concern.
Indiana Congressman and Democratic Senate candidate Joe Donnelly is co-sponsoring a bill in Congress that would eliminate the tax. But state Treasurer Richard Mourdock says Donnelly’s vote for the Affordable Care Act equates to support of the tax, which he says wouldn’t have impacted many in Donnelly’s congressional district.
“Now as a Senate candidate he’s suddenly getting more active to co-sponsor a bill,” Mourdock says. “Again, he was for it before he was against it and I don’t think that’s very consistent.”
Donnelly says he’s always opposed the tax …including in a 2009 letter to House leadership prior to passage of the health care bill…but feels the Affordable Care Act was too important not to pass, even in its flawed form.
“Because it provides, for seniors, prescription drugs at 50 percent off, for people with rheumatoid arthritis or with cancer, the opportunity for the first time in many cases to get health care coverage,” Donnelly says.
While Donnelly is hopeful the bill eliminating the tax will pass both houses, Mourdock says it’s unlikely to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate.