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Senior Advisor

Jobs killing Obama care tax

When will government learn for every action there is an oposite and egual reaction? So like everything else government does it wants to "give" something to the people without an idea of how to pay for it.



Meanwhile, 79 senators including several liberal lawmakers recently voted to  repeal a new tax on medical devices contained in the health care law following a  similar vote in the House.

"The House and the Senate agreeing? This is a harmonic convergence, it  doesn't happen," said former Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh. "But on this it's  happened because the adverse consequences to our economy and the quality of  health care are so apparent."

The two separate votes have not become law but show widespread opposition to  the 2.3 percent sales tax on medical devices. Critics say the law is unfair to  the industry since it's a tax on gross sales -- meaning it adds up to a much  bigger percentage of a company's profits.

But supporters such as Paul Van de Water of the Center for American Progress  oppose any repeal.

"I think that repealing the device tax would be irresponsible. We need the  revenue and it's not going to be a job killer," he said.

The theory was that ObamaCare would insure 30 million more people and that  device makers, like pharmaceutical companies, would get lots of new customers  and a steady stream of new revenue to make up for the tax. Van de Water  predicted that would still happen.

"These device manufacturers are for the most part going to be getting a large  increase in business thanks to health reform, thanks to ObamaCare," he said.  

But the CEO of one company said that's not true for the 7,000 small companies  with 400,000 employees who make a wide range of devices.

Christine Jacobs of Theragenics said: "We make widgets -- hips, knees,  stents, pacemakers, and implants, even, for prostate cancer. Those widgets tend  to be used by people that are elderly. As the body parts wear out, we're  needed."

But Jacobs notes that most people whose body parts wear out are already on  Medicare, so ObamaCare does not provide a new revenue stream for her company --  only financial pain.

"In the case of a small company, that medical device tax is equal to our  R-and-D budget for this year," Jacobs said.

Bayh said in his own state of Indiana, one company planned to open up to five  facilities over the next five years but had to scrap those plans because of the  "uncertainty created by this tax."

Jacobs said the huge multinational device makers might be able to handle the  burden but not the small companies.

"It's just such a disproportionate burden for little guys," she said.  "Because we're all being told that it's the little companies that create the  jobs. And that's not message that we're getting."

The tax will even be applied to sutures used on pets that Theragenics  developed for the veterinary market.


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