Republicans lead House legislation to repeal Obamacare tax on medical devices

The Republican-heavy House Ways and Means Committee, including Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), voted on Tuesday to repeal a 2.3 percent tax on a number of critical medical devices, which is a large source of revenue for Obamacare.

The vote fell largely along party lines within the committee, with Republicans believing the tax holds back innovation and stunts job growth.

“It’s like putting sandbags on the wings of the Wright Brothers as they try to figure out how to fly an airplane,” Meehan said.

Democrats, on the other hand, contend those claims are exaggerations and take issue that Republicans have not developed a plan to recoup the $24.4 billion that the repeal will cost in lost revenue over the next 10 years.

The legislation to remove the medical device tax is seen as “the obvious effort of Republicans to essentially piece by piece, if they can’t do it entirely, to repeal” Obamacare, Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) said.

The House of Representatives, led by Republicans, has voted for a bill that would cancel the tax on three separate occasions since it was originally implemented in 2010. Each time, the issue has been squelched in a Democrat-controlled Senate.

With Republicans gaining the edge in the Senate in January, Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has authored a similar repeal bill for the Senate, which is working through the legislative process.