U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, says scrapping a 2.3 percent tax on some medical device producers will protect jobs in the 17th Congressional District.|
Rep. Schilling joined the majority of House members to vote in favor of getting rid of the proposed tax on Thursday, although the measure is unlikely to pass the Senate and is opposed by President Barack Obama.
In a Friday news conference, Rep. Schilling said the tax could have threatened jobs at the Cook Medical factory in Canton, part of the 17th District, and generally would have pushed jobs in the industry overseas. Cook manufactures angiographic catheters in Canton.
The 270-146 vote in the House was viewed as part of the attempt by Republicans to dismantle President Obama's Affordable Care Act, which created the tax to fund an expansion of health care for the poor.
"While efforts continue to repeal the health care law in its entirety and replace it with policies that actually address the rising cost of health care, it is important that we keep focused on repealing some of the most damaging pieces of the massive law – job-killing provisions like the 1099 tax reporting requirement and the medical device tax," Rep. Schilling said.
The 2.3 percent tax, set to take effect in January, is aimed at U.S. sales of medical devices used chiefly by doctors and hospitals, such as pacemakers and CT scan machines. Consumer items such as eyeglasses and kits for blood tests that people can perform on themselves would be exempt from the tax.
The tax would raise an estimated $29 billion from anticipated revenue of $1.5 trillion for medical device manufacturers over the next ten years.
To cover the loss of revenue to the government, the Republican proposal would erase limits on the amount the government could recover from overpayments to low-income people eligible for insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, a move that was strongly criticized by some Democrats.
Canton Mayor Kevin Meade, speaking during Friday's news conference, said the 2.3 percent tax would "cripple" businesses like the Cook plant, which has plans to expand.
- The Associated Press contributed to this report
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