Was campaign contribution behind Collins’ plan to repeal medical device tax?
On October 22, 2013 At 7:31 am
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As the Republican shutdown of the federal government dragged on, Sen. Susan Collins proposed a scheme to end it. Her plan was for the President Obama and congressional Democrats to delay the implementation of a tax on medical devices (pace makers, artificial knees, catheters, and the like) for two years in exchange for enough Republican votes in the Senate – and presumably in the House – to pass a temporary spending measure to bring furloughed government workers back to their jobs.
The tax – 2.3% on sales of the devices – was similar to new taxes on hospitals, medications, and other health care items. With all the new patients and customers that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) would bring to the industry, the tax is meant to help pay for the subsidies used to provide health insurance to the working poor.
Collins scheme failed, and the temporary spending bill passed without any concessions from Democrats.
It how comes to light that in June of this year, industry lobbyists hosted a fundraiser lunch for Collins (see invite below – h/t Bruce Bourgoine). It is not clear how much was raised for her campaign at the time.