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More on the medical device tax: The lobbying bonanza

October 03, 2013|By Michael Hiltzik
  • A test subject undergoes an MRI scan. The makers of machines like this want to stick you with their tax bill.
A test subject undergoes an MRI scan. The makers of machines like this want… (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles…)

As the medical device tax begins to look more and more like Obamacare's sacrificial lamb, the invaluable MapLight provides us with a rundown of the device industry's spending to kill the tax.

The raw number -- and we do mean raw: Supporters of the repeal have contributed $39.8 million to current members of Congress since the tax was enacted. In the house, the top collector is Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.)  ($485,428), with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) a close second at $464,974. On the Senate side, the top money-grubber is Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) at $471,263, followed by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) at $333,984.

As we reported earlier, if the $30 billion in revenue to be produced by this tax (over 10 years) is wiped out, the funds will have to be ponied up by other stakeholders in the healthcare system -- doctors and hospitals may face even deeper cuts in reimbursements, taxes on health insurance policies may rise, and -- who knows -- the employee tax break for employer-sponsored insurance may disappear.

In other words, the medical device interests have spent $39.8 million to stick you and me with their bill. And a bipartisan bloc of legislators in Congress are just fine with that. Say again who these people work for?

Reach me at @hiltzikm on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or by email.

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