Senate Health Committee chair says medtech tax repeal is a"phony" issue | MassDevice.com On Call
October 25, 2013 by Arezu Sarvestani FiDA highlight
MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Medical device tax repeal efforts have made friends across party lines and in both houses of Congress, but Senate Health Committee chairman Tom Harkin isn't one of them.
In harsh comments made yesterday Harkin characterized the debate over the medical device tax as a fabricated controversy, saying that the industry can afford to pay its share to help fund healthcare reform, Minnesota Public Radio reported.
"That medical device tax issue is one of the phoniest issues I have seen in my years here," Harkin said. "It is absolutely, totally fraudulent and phony. That small amount of tax won't hurt them one bit, and they make a lot of money on medical devices."
Harkin promised to fight any efforts to repeal the tax, MPR wrote. The sentiment is one long shared by the White House.
The Obama administration has on several occasions said that medical device tax repeal is a non-starter, maintaining that the levy represents the medtech industry's fair burden in helping to fund healthcare reforms that will bring them more customers. The so-called "windfall" rhetoric has been a staple of the battle over the medical device tax, with proponents of the tax arguing that medtech companies will offset much of their costs through their new customers and the industry insisting that the newly insured aren't the kind that end up needing medical devices.
The White House said for the 1st time this month that it would consider repeal of the levy, as long as lawmakers could come to terms on some means of making up for the lost revenue. The issue of a so-called "pay-for" to make up for the lost revenue the medical device tax is projected to generate has been a sticking point for many Democrats.