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Medical device tax

Just when you think there’s no point in advocating for better policies in this nation, something happens that reminds you the will of the people can win out – if the people have the right information and advocate for the right things.

The Democrat-controlled Senate voted last week to repeal the medical device tax in ObamaCare. They voted decisively to repeal it, with 79 senators including 33 Democrats on board. The House has already voted to repeal it with 270 members on board. That’s a veto-proof majority in the Senate and very close to one in the House, although I wonder if President Obama would dare to issue a veto. I suppose it’s possible. He won, after all, as he’ll be glad to tell you.

The medical device tax is one of the most onerous elements of ObamaCare, and that’s saying something. By taxing medical device makers 2.3 percent of all gross sales, the tax is designed to raise $29 billion. In the process, of course, it creates a huge disincentive for innovation in health care that can drive costs down, and serves to depress job creation in the medical device industry.

No less than Patty Murray, Dick Durbin and Barbara Mikulski – liberals who never saw a tax they didn’t like in their lives – voted for the repeal.

But repeal is far from a done deal, unfortunately. The Senate measure was attached to a non-binding resolution, so while 79 senators have gone on record as favoring the repeal, they have not yet passed a bill that they can send to the House for action.

That means this could be one of Harry Reid’s infamous tricks. Hold a vote that allows you to say you took action on repeal, and then when people ask why the tax isn’t actually repealed, offer some mumbo jumbo about parliamentary procedure, blame House Republicans and move on to the next question. This is one where the people really need to keep the pressure on.

Often in cases like this, Republicans in the House will pass a measure, only to have the media mock their efforts as a political grandstand because, they say, they should know Senate Democrats will never go along. They can’t say that now, not when 33 Democrats just joined almost all Senate Republicans to vote in favor of repealing the tax.

The Senate needs to pass a binding repeal bill, or the House needs to send its bill to the Senate and demand that Reid allow a vote on it. If Reid doesn’t, everyone will be able to see that he is playing games with the American people.

That would be no surprise, of course. Playing games is exactly how ObamaCare got passed in the first place. They claimed the bill would actually reduce the deficit, because they lowballed the costs and downplayed the impact of the many taxes and fees stuffed into the bill. As soon as people start to learn the truth about these things, they want them gone. There’s a lot more where this one came from.

But what we’ve seen here is that, when the truth comes to light and there’s nowhere to hide, even Senate Democrats will vote to do the right thing – if only because they have no choice. Keep the pressure on. They’ve gone on record in favor of repealing this horrible tax. Now we need to make sure they don’t get away with just “taking a stand” that doesn’t get the job done. They need to repeal it – for real.

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