U.S. Representative Rob Wittman (VA-1) today supported legislation to repeal a new medical device tax set to take effect in January 2013, created by the health overhaul legislation or "Obamacare" signed into law in 2010. H.R. 436, the Health Care Cost Reduction Act, repeals a provision of Obamacare which establishes a 2.3 percent tax on all types of medical devices, affecting a growth industry in the U.S. that employs hundreds of thousands of employees. The tax will potentially raise costs for patients and providers while reducing resources for companies to retain employees, innovate and compete. The bill passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 270-146.
"This tax will no doubt have a negative impact on both health care costs and employment," Wittman said. "Folks across the country are struggling to find jobs and put food on their tables, and health care costs continue to rise. By imposing a burdensome new tax on medical device companies, the government is inhibiting the private sector's ability to produce the highest quality health care products, which in turn limits a company to expand its businesses and hire new folks. In order to spur our economic recovery, government should be facilitating an environment where U.S. companies can remain competitive, and the private sector can pursue innovative and cutting-edge solutions and ideas. Foreign nations are determined to surpass American excellence in scientific modernization. Our science infrastructure simply cannot be put at a disadvantage while the rest of the world out-researches and out-develops us. I was proud to support the bipartisan Health Care Cost Reduction Act today to ensure that American companies can continue to innovate and retain their employees, and patients can continue to receive affordable medical care with the best technology in the world."
Wittman voted against the legislation which enacted this tax, the health care overhaul legislation in 2010. Since that time, Wittman has supported efforts to repeal the legislation so that it can be replaced with other pieces of health care reform legislation. His efforts include:
·Cosponsored and voted for H.R. 2, which would repeal Obamacare, reducing spending by $2.6 trillion over ten years and reducing the deficit by $700 billion.
·Cosponsored and voted for H.R. 4, the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011, repealing the 1099 reporting requirement in Obamacare.
·Cosponsored H.R. 1286, Healthcare Fiscal Accountability Act of 2011, which would repeal $105.5 billion in mandatory spending included in Obamacare.
·Voted for H.Res. 9, which instructs the committees of jurisdiction to recommend legislation that expands access and improves affordability of healthcare and health insurance and reforms medical liability insurance.
·Cosponsored and voted for H.R. 5, which repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board created in Obamacare, and also enacts medical liability reform.
Congressman Rob Wittman represents the First District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee where he is the Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.