Obama reportedly open to repealing medical device tax

| October 15, 2013

Bloomberg News (10/12, Rowley, Tiron, Hunter) reported that Senate Republicans said President Obama “didn’t rule out” repealing a medical device tax in a Friday meeting with them on how to end the governing impasse. Sen. Orrin Hatch said, however, of the talks, “I came away with the feeling this is going to be a difficult experience.” Sen. Susan Collins is working on the plan that would repeal the device tax by offsetting the lost revenue with a “change to pension rules.” After the Friday meeting, she said the President “didn’t say…’What a great idea, wish I had thought of that.’” Hatch said, however, that Obama called the device tax “a legitimate concern and one that we can talk about and admitted that it’s not part of the core program.”

The Hill (10/14, Schroeder, Becker) “On the Money” blog reports that President Obama on Thursday “indicated a willingness to talk about” changes to the Affordable Care Act, including “a repeal of the medical device tax” and “how full-time versus part-time employment are defined in the law, which could provide relief to some businesses.”

However, The Hill (10/11, Lillis) reported that House Democrats were “amplifying their opposition” to any repeal of the medical device tax on Friday after a caucus meeting but before Senate Republicans met with President Obama “to push a proposal that would temporarily raise the debt ceiling, fund the government for a year at sequester levels, and eliminate the 2.3 percent medical device tax hike.” The Hill quotes House Democratic Caucus vice chairman Joseph Crowley of New York, who “hammered that plan, arguing that ObamaCare provisions have no place in the immediate budget fights.” The Hill notes that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi warned earlier this week that “any provision to scale back ObamaCare as part of the current fiscal fights is a nonstarter.”

Category: Current Affairs, General Healthcare News, Government

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