Obama Taxes Pacemakers, Heart Valves – by Dick Morris


The more fiscal details of the health care bills emerge, the more appalling they seem. The Senate Finance Committee bill includes a broad provision taxing all manner of medical devices. This tax includes such frivolous luxuries as pacemakers, stents, artificial heart valves, defibrillators, automated wheelchairs, mechanized artificial limbs, replacement hips and knees, surgical gurneys, laparoscopic equipment and the like.

President Obama is planning to reduce the cost of medical care by taxing it!

The most recent Gallup Poll reflected that 49 percent of respondents said they believed that the Obamacare plan will increase their health care costs. Only about 20 percent said it would lower them. It is taxes like these that substantiate this kind of concern.

The origins of this new medical device tax are troubling, as well.

The medical device industry had its day at the White House, as did the insurance industry, the drug makers, the nurses and the doctors. In turn, each group heard the White House request that they come up with voluntary cuts in their health care costs and support Obama’s proposed changes in return for assurances that Congress would not impose deeper cuts (or, in the case of the doctors, that it would actually rescind cuts already scheduled under current statutes).

But, unlike all these other groups, the medical device industry refused the deal. This posture enraged the tyrants in the White House, who vowed to punish the industry with cuts imposed by Congress.

The result was a decision by the revenue-hungry Senate Finance Committee to extract billions in funds from the industry.

The legislation does not work like a sales or excise tax. Rather, it follows the model of the punitive tobacco settlement imposed on cigarette companies in the ’90s. It assesses an industry-wide payment that firms must make in proportion to their market share. It bars them from passing along the cost of the assessment by charging more for certain basic products, but allows them to raise the price of others to raise the funds for the fee.

So, the result will be that virtually every piece of advanced surgical equipment will be subject to a price increase to meet the levy from Washington. No matter that these devices often make the difference between life and death and that, in effect, taxing them raises the cost of vital treatments. The vengeful White House will have its pound of flesh from the medical device industry for daring to be independent and refusing to knuckle down to administration pressure.

This tax, imposed in a spirit of haughty arrogance, falls on totally inappropriate objects. Valves, prosthetic limbs, pacemakers, hearing aids and such are essential therapies that make life longer, better and less painful. To tax them makes no sense — except in the world of sharp elbows and interest group politics that grips this take-no-prisoners and show-no-mercy White House.

  • brimp

    You miss the obvious intent of the democrats. They want to reduce health care costs by causing the elderly and infirm to die. This also helps the Social Security problem.

  • RSA3

    It is not just the elderly! Do you know how many babies, small children, teenagers and young adults are dependant on pacemakers, etc! My son was 20 when he had his pacemaker implant. This is ridiculous even for the USA…

  • JonAlan

    There is only one solution, take them out of office.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steven.laib Steven Laib

    Like RSA3, mentions, a lot of people get pacemakers when the are young. Some are infants. I've had mine since age 28 and would suffer one of the more permanent forms of death without it.

    I remember when essentially all medical expenses were tax deductions. Now, medical expenses are limited, and the government wants to tax life sustaining devices. Yes, they must want to kill people who cost to much in medical expenses. I'd be interested in whether this is deprivation of life without due process, or would legislation qualify? I'm not a constitutional lawyer. I only do tax law.

  • talis4

    Hey dick,
    did you take time off from toe sucking to write this? How do you sleep? You are now ensconced with the right wing morons (RWM). Previously you were progressive. I guess you go both ways. Is dick your name or avocation?

    You and your evil masters at fox “news” are the enemies of freedom. The RWM's of this country hate freedom, hate America, and love the power and control they believe that a fascist regime will provide. I believe that you are nazi.
    Most of your supporters would be quite happy in a place like afghanistan as members of the taliban. They'd love a theocracy.

    You are truly despicable.

  • airmanmike


  • USMCSniper

    No the Marxist Clandestine Muslim Community Organizer is despicable and a weak babbling idiot that knows less than nothing, because everything he knows is all wrong. Liberals who cannot abstract ideas to their logical consequences in reality are morons because you fail at everything you do and then do the same thing over like the morons you all are. Take one and sit in it!

    • talis4

      Rent a clue, Adolph. Obama has been a moderate since day one. The right wing moron brigade (or moran as you might call it) is anti-intellectual, anti-fact and just plain stupid. If you took a second to read a book (that is, if you can read) instead of keeping your head burrowed up the ass of glen beck, you might actually understand the concepts being discussed. You are a blithering idiot.