Monday, November 26, 2012

What could go wrong?

The regulations are nowhere near finished, so we really have no idea how badly we will be screwed by Obamacare. However, that famously right-wing publication, the Politico, doesn't think the Obamacare tax on medical devices will be good for innovation or health care generally.

This onerous policy — which is expected to cost more than $30 billion — is already having a real-world, everyday impact on our health care system and our economy. Even though it doesn’t take effect until Jan. 1, medical technology companies are already announcing job cuts and canceling plans to build plants to pay for the tax. Others are trimming budgets in important areas like research and development.
Put simply, this is a tax on innovation, and it is going to hurt American workers and patients most. Congress can and should repeal it immediately.
Medical innovation is key to providing cutting-edge, lifesaving technologies to patients. Between 1980 and 2000, new diagnostic and treatment tools helped increase life expectancy by more than three years. But the new tax will take money from our research and development pipelines, reducing our ability to discover and develop lifesaving medical devices such as heart valves, molecular diagnostic tests and MRI machines.

So let me get this straight. The tax will reduce medical innovation, cost jobs, and take money away from research and development, while also costing consumers more for their medical devices. Do I have everything here? How, exactly, is this supposed to be "reform"? I have no doubt that temp agencies, when deciding whether to provide health insurance for their employees as required by Obamacare, will ignore all these added costs and simply pay for the policies. I also have no doubt that I will respect you in the morning. Get a grip. I got your hope and change right here.

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