Here’s a recent conservative perspective on the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” as written by Al Campbell of GermantownNOW. As a BGW contributor had previously pointed out, the ‘individual mandate’ will surely lead to some problems economically. Only one of which is this medical device tax dilemma being pointed out here. I cannot speak to the facts, as we did in our previous analysis of the health reform bill; however, it’s clear both problems….and public confusion (from “experts”) persist. I’ve bolded what’s false, as it represents a clear misunderstanding of what the bill is or does. It’s not a “single-payer” system; it is a multi-payer system, none of which is the government beyond traditional forms of social entitlement insurance — it just mandates that people buy private or find free insurance. A “single-payer” system would be full government provided insurance. But the points about it being problematic hold true, nonetheless. See below.
“ObamaCare… The Gift That Keeps on Giving”
By: Al Campbell
There is another ‘small’ issue with PPACA (a/k/a ObamaCare) that we just had to pass in order to learn what was in it. That small thing is a 2.3% tax on the gross revenues of firms selling medical devices in the United States. George Will pointed out that this small surcharge actually amounts to about another 15% tax on profits for medical device manufacturers.
This money is needed to fund the enormous costs of ObamaCare on top of all the other tax funding and fees and penalties that are found in ObamaCare’s thousands of pages, plus the hundreds of thousands of pages adding defining detail to the original bill.
The net result of this additional funding source, having been ‘called out’ as it were, is simply this: we won’t have such medical device manufacturers around much longer. And, we won’t see the continued introduction of such devices to bring us benefits that would’ve otherwise not been available. What we do have will be priced beyond our ability to pay since that added 15% income tax will have to be offset by much higher retail prices to keep the manufacturing plants running and provide the level of profit required by the investors.
Will points out in yesterday’s article that the Stryker Corporation in Michigan has said it will lay off 1,000 employees as the result of this tax; Boston Scientific is planning a more than $100 million charge against earnings (not profit, by the way) in 2013. This tax will cost the industry some $20 billion per year, about twice what it had been investing in new product development annually.
These devices are things such as catheters and artificial joints and all such other things that we have come to take for granted in this country. Not only will these devices likely no longer be available and/or affordable, but the general health conditions of those of us who live under ObamaCare will deteriorate as the result of shortages or outright unavailability of such products.
This road to a single payer health care system was the proverbial “wolf in sheep’s clothing” since we have, so far, found so many hidden little time bombs; and, since we will continue to find those as additional rules and regulations are written and released.
Our Congressional majority passed this legislation literally without understanding what they were doing. One person certainly knew what was happening and that was our current President, Barack Obama. This constitutes malfeasance in office by those who voted for the bill from my crazy perspective, but I guess those kinds of things don’t apply to the political class, do they? Those who voted for this bill ought not be returned to Congress, but probably will be returned since we seldom pay close enough attention to their failures.
It also appears to me to be an intentional obfuscation, tacitly lying by concealing information, of the real intent by our President. That certainly ought to be grounds for not being accorded a second term, during which he can finish the job he started, by pushing us so far down the single payer road that there’ll be no real alternative left at the end of that second term.
It’s clear the confusion is not just on the side of the government; but rather public understanding of what’s happening as well.