Another one of those "We have to pass the Bill to see what's in it" deals.
... Ramesh Ponnuru ably covered the detrimental effects of the tax: An industry with a 4 percent profit margin (leading ThinkProgress to call it “ever-profitable”) will now face a 2.3 percent excise tax, and various medical-device companies have either halted hiring or are planning layoffs. A trade-group study suggests that it will cost the industry 45,000 high-paying jobs.
The downsides to this tax, which was expected to raise $30 billion over ten years toward the implementation of Obamacare, are causing chest pains for Democrats. Representative Bill Owens, for instance, explained to Politico that a combination of pressure from constituents and his local Chamber of Commerce prompted him to sponsor its elimination. Even Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has pledged to repeal the tax — no doubt owing to pressure from voters in Massachusetts, home to a massive biotech industry as well as Boston Scientific, one of the world’s largest medical-device companies.
But aside from being bad politics, the tax is poor policy. The basic principles of business taxation hold that taxes should be applied on net income, or revenues less expenses. The medical-device tax would instead level a 2.3 percent tax on all sales of medical devices produced in or imported into the United States. Congress has thereby put MRI machines and pacemakers in the same category as alcohol, cigarettes, and gasoline. Americans who pay high excise taxes on cigarettes their entire lives will have the additional pleasure of paying such a levy on their life-saving pacemakers and oxygen machines.