The political shoe has strangely found its way to the other foot regarding President Obama’s controversial signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act. The ACA, also known popularly as ObamaCare, includes a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices scheduled to take effect January 1, as one of its “fundraising mechanisms.” Sixteen Democrats who signed the ACA into law are now attempting to delay this tax, using Republican rhetoric in their arguments.
Democratic senators are saying that the tax will cost cost jobs and stifle American competition in the medical device field. Senator Al Franken called the levy a “job-killing tax” in a statement Monday. The Senators making the request in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid include Franken, Richard Durbin, Charles Schumer, Patty Murray, John Kerry, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Joseph Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Robert Casey, Debbie Stabenow, Barbara Mikulski, Kay Hagan, Herb Kohl, Jeanne Shaheen, and Richard Blumenthal. All of them voted for the ACA.
Senators-elect Joe Donnelly and Elizabeth Warren also signed the letter. Donnelly voted for the ACA as a member of the House while Warren was not in office when the vote was held, reports The Washington Examiner.
“I want to repeal the medical device tax altogether,” Franken said in his statement. “But I am concerned that we are running out of time before this job-killing tax goes into effect. So, for now, the best thing to do to ensure that this important industry continues to create jobs and producing life-saving devices is to delay this unwise tax.”
“The medical technology industry directly employs over 400,000 people in the United States and is responsible for a total of two million skilled manufacturing jobs,” the senators wrote in the letter. “We must do all we can to ensure that our country maintains its global leadership position in the medical technology industry and keeps good jobs here at home.”
Senators also charge that the medical device industry “has received little guidance about how to comply with the tax,” echoing a common Republican criticism of the bill: That the language in the legislation is ambiguous or unclear, and that the Administration has been sloppy in its implementation thus far.
What do you think? Are some Democrats getting cold feet regarding ObamaCare’s implementation? Should the legislation be amended, further implemented, or thrown out altogether?