The Senate is beginning consideration of a bill to revive more than 50 expired tax breaks. Republicans are likely to offer an amendment to kill the medical device tax.
About 300 medical-device manufacturers are headquartered in Indiana and have lobbied for repeal. Indiana Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly says he’ll co-sponsor a repeal amendment if it’s introduced.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has staunchly opposed repealing the tax, saying this week that the medical-device manufacturers have increased their profits even with the tax.
Indiana Republican Dan Coats says he doubts Reid will allow a vote – he blames the White House for refusing to consider anything that would cut off a funding source for the health care law.
“President Obama has basically said, this pays for the Obamacare act. If we start down this road, there are 12 taxes in Obamacare. If we repealing these, it will just encourage efforts to repeal some of these taxes,” Coats says.
Donnelly says the amendment should specify offsetting savings in other programs to address that objection.
“With a two year delay, what it does is give us the chance – if we can’t get a permanent repeal right now – to be able to work for the next two years on putting the coalition together to get us there,” Donnelly says.
Last year, 79 senators voted for a nonbinding resolution urging repeal of the tax.