Berkley Vote, Well, Priceless.
June 7, 2012
Opposes repeal of medical device tax she previously tried to repeal.
(Las Vegas, NV) – In another breathless election year move, today 14-year Congresswoman Shelley Berkley voted to preserve a 2.3% ObamaCare tax on medical devices that she previously cosponsored legislation to repeal and voted for in the House Ways and Means Committee just last week. And if that is not priceless enough, in 2009, she voted in Committee and on the House floor to create the tax in the first place.
She was for it before she was against it before she was for it again.
“Wow,” said Chandler Smith, Heller for Senate spokesperson. “If Shelley Berkley is this confused about where she stands on the issue, just imagine how confused Nevadans are on where she stands.”
Berkley’s vote today against the repeal she once favored may have deeper meaning. The tax repeal would have a direct effect on her own bank account as the tax is paid by her husband’s business. She originally favored the bill, but then again, she was already outed by the New York Times for using her office for her own personal gain.
“Makes you wonder how she would have voted today if she weren’t under ethics scrutiny,” added Smith.
Shelley Berkley originally joined Wisconsin Representative Ron Kind to repeal the tax. Shelley Berkley flip-flopped while Ron Kind remained firm in his support for repeal. “Two Democrats, Nevada’s Shelley Berkley and Wisconsin’s Ron Kind, supported the repeal proposal in the House Ways and Means Committee, without the flexible spending or repayment provisions attached.” (Richard Rubin, Kathleen Hunter, “U.S. Medical Device Backers Face Tough Health Care Vote,” Bloomberg, June 6, 2012)
Consequences of the 2.3% medical device tax:
Higher health costs: According to the Washington Post, “the 2.3 percent tax, unless repealed, will mean not only fewer jobs but also fewer pain-reducing and life-extending inventions — stents, implantable defibrillators, etc. — which have reduced health-care costs.” (George Will, “Taxing Jobs Out of Existence,” The Washington Post, 5/9/2012)
Fewer jobs: “A $3 billion hit on the medical device industry — roughly the effect of the healthcare reform law’s industry tax — would cost nearly 39,000 jobs and more than $8 billion in economic output, according to a new report released Monday by the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed).” (Julian Pecquet, “Medical Device Makers Decry Cost of Tax,” The Hill, 3/26/2012)
Jobs shipped overseas: “Cook Medical is no longer planning to open a U.S. factory a year. Boston Scientific, planning for a more than $100 million charge against earnings in 2013, recently built a $35 million research and development facility in Ireland and is building a $150 million factory in China… Stryker Corp., based in Michigan, blames the tax for 1,000 layoffs. Zimmer, based in Indiana, is laying off 450 and taking a $50 million charge against earnings. Medtronic expects an annual charge against earnings of $175 million.” (George Will, “Taxing Jobs Out of Existence,” The Washington Post, 5/9/2012)
Workers laid off: Medical device makers have already announced layoffs. (Susan Kelly, “Medical Device Tax May Spur Price Hikes, Cost Cuts,” Reuters, 4/18/2012)