Taxing Medical Progress to Death


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Two years ago this month, as public debate over Obamacare raged, former President Bill Clinton rushed to the hospital because of a heart condition. He immediately underwent a procedure to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries. It was a timely reminder about the dangers of stifling private-sector medical innovation. No one listened.

Stents don’t grow on trees. They were not created, developed, marketed or sold by government bureaucrats and lawmakers. One of the nation’s top stent manufacturers, Boston Scientific, warned at the time that Obamacare’s punitive medical device tax would lead to worker losses and research cuts. The 2.3 percent excise tax, the company said, “would be very damaging to Boston Scientific, and the medical device industry as a whole. In a nutshell, it would raise costs and lead to significant job losses. It does not address the quality of care but the political scorecard of savings.”

Two years later, Bill Clinton’s doing just peachy. But many medical device manufacturers are suffering, and many more are preparing for the worst as the White House gears up to collect on an estimated $20 billion from the lifesaving industry. In typical Obama-transparent fashion, the Internal Revenue Service quietly released a complex thicket of medical device tax implementation rules in a Friday document dump earlier this month. Barring congressional intervention, the medical device tax will go into full effect in 2013.

Cook Medical, which manufactures products for everything from endovascular therapy, critical care medicine and general surgery, to diagnostic and interventional procedures, to bioengineered tissue replacement and regeneration, gastroenterology and endoscopy procedures, urology, and obstetrics and gynecology, has called for the levy’s repeal. Cook Group chairman Stephen Ferguson noted the tax burden amounted to a whopping 55 percent of its profits.

“For a company like ours, which pays 35 percent of our net earnings in federal corporate taxes and another 4 to 5 percent in state and local corporate taxes, the excise tax translates to another payment that will consume 15 percent more of our earnings,” he estimated.

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  • truebearing

    Part I

    The Progressives, under Obama, have saddled this nation with a curse that keeps on plaguing. Recently Obama attacked the free exercise clause, the establishment clause, and the free speech clause of the 1st amendment with his decree of dhimmitude for the Catholic Church, and his silencing of military chaplains. This was all part of forcing Catholics to submit to the "sacred" preventative eugenics of the Church of the Environmental Left.

  • truebearing

    Part II

    Obama's medical device tax is yet another assault on the quality of our health care, and our longevity. This tax is part of what I call "situational eugenics", where people die as an indirect result of economic conditions brought about by Progressive policy. The strangling of our energy sector, which will lead to higher costs for food producers or heating homes, will also result in deaths. This is how the radical Environmental Left can kill millions and avoid direct culpability. Banning key herbicides, insecticides, etc is another form of situational eugenics in that it will increase starvation.

    Death Panels are real. Don't assume that the increased mortality that Obamacare will cause is an unintended consequence. The Left has always had a cold spot in their heart for mass murder.

  • Anamah

    The obtuse Obama mentality works as leeches treatments that were used to bleed patients. When this Pharaonic president and his plagues quite power will leave our beautiful America, severely exsanguined, anemic, near her last breath. As sooner they will be thrown out the better. Progressives are squeezing our country in every mode possible. Obama care is one malignant example of that. What a coincidence I am remembering the death of our patriot George Washington: bloodless.

  • davarino

    This shows the lack of math skills these dummies have. They are taxing to death the very devices the government will eventually have to pay for. If the gov is the single payor then it will be paying a higher price for those devices because of the tax. Of course I am sure the gov will eventually find a manufacturer who will play along and will get a tax exemption and they will be the monopoly. All the while the prolateriate gets to have exellant health care by their special doctors and we get the devices made by Tonka Toys. Lovely shell game.

    • Eric G

      "They are taxing to death the very devices the government will eventually have to pay for."

      I think that's the point. If the govt pays for it, then it controls it. That's what this administration is about — control.

  • StephenD

    Let's see…if you wanted to further damage America what else would you do? Why, force companies to either lose profit or dump jobs here for overseas workers or cut back on the product. What a great thing to do if you're an enemy!
    This is just another cog in the wheel intended to run us over until we are subjugated. I expect Obama envisions a European Style Nation-State type Socialism for us.
    Man, do we ever need a Patrick Henry! "Give me Liberty or give me death!"

    • Chris C

      With Obama there will be plenty of death to go around, sadly.

  • Bob H.

    My belief is that everything that the current administration is doing has a purpose. It's not that these folks are insufficiently educated, it is that they are very intelligent and are working at promoting a specific agenda. Think about it this way, or choose your own anology. If you skillfully remove 75% (or pick a number) of trees from a very large forest, most folks would not notice. This weakens the forest and makes it ripe for total destruction in a very short time. The removal of the trees happens little by little over time until there is no returning the forest to its past strength. It is very purposeful and very methodical…

  • toomuchman

    More proof that the entire Obama Administration is made up of clueless fools.

  • sidefillippe

    Even Bill knew Obamacare is dangerous, therefore he had to get the stent before it's becoming too scarce and too expensive.

    But he forgot his condition is very likely to return after Obamacare becomes reality.

  • badofdirt

    Of course those "Industry estimates put the tax-induced job losses at 43,000" numbers are too small to be included in the latest unemployment rate.

  • Flowerknife_us

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  • Flowerknife_us

    The Health care bill is a form of Slavery where by the Federal Government is claiming ownership. How else can they make criminals out of those they know up front can never pay, while forcing those they feel can pay to pay for everyone. Unless they feel they own you.

    Befor the Supreem Court is a modern version of the Dread Scott case. Only this time it is the Federal Government claiming ownership instead of the Individual.

    Right now Obama only feel like he owns us. What do you think will happen if the Court actuall confirms his ownership???

    Does your SCHOOL LUNCH pass the healthy test today. Was your kid given a lesson as to who is really their boss today. You know, because it's good for them.