Sen. Scott Brown will file amendment to repeal medical-device tax

Boston Herald By Jay Fitzgerald

U.S. Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) is pushing to repeal a multibillion-dollar sales tax on medical-device companies that was part of the massive health-care reform package approved earlier this week in the House and signed into law by President Obama.

Brown was preparing to file an amendment today that would repeal the medical-device provision, as part of an overall Republican plan to bombard Democrats with amendments as senators vote on a “reconciliation” bill that would make changes to the health-care reform package.

Brown says the medical-device tax will hurt the state’s life-sciences industry.

Under a Democratic agreement, the House voted on Sunday to pass the massive Senate version of the $940 billion health-care overhaul package – in exchange for the Senate approving a reconciliation bill later this week. But if the reconciliation bill is altered in any way, then it would have to go back to the House for another vote, something Democrats don’t want.

Most observers think Republicans will ultimately fail in their efforts to block or alter the bill – but they could get Democrats on the record for beating back popular amendments. The GOP reportedly is planning to use today’s amendment votes as fodder for future campaign ads.

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