The least popular tax in Obamacare is the medical device tax. Congress has already tried to repeal it and the medical device industry has been working to get rid of it. As the Manchester Union Leader points out, the tax has already crippled that industry:
When Obamacare was being strong-armed through Congress, the American people were told that the benefits would accrue to everyone while the costs fell on sinister corporations and the wealthy. Among the dark and mysterious business interests that would bear the cost of the new law was the medical device industry. Obamacare included a 2.3 percent tax on the sales price of medical devices – not on profits, so even startups that have yet to make a profit have to pay the tax on every device they sell.
Since Obamacare became law in 2010, a funny thing has happened to employment in the medical device industry. It has fallen. U.S. employment in the industry hit 409,000 in 2009, according to research by Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute. Through 2011, the latest year for which data are available, it fell to 387,000. During the recession years of 2007-2009, medical device manufacturing grew from 3.2 percent of the U.S. manufacturing sector to 3.7 percent. But after 2009, its share declined.
Cheerleaders for Obamacare mock opponents of this tax as pawns of rich business interests. The New York Times on April 2 editorialized against the entire medical device industry, portraying it as a wicked puppet master in an editorial titled “One industry’s hold on the Senate.”
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