Viewpoints: The Potential Impact Of Medical Device Tax; ‘Unsustainable’ Health And Pension Benefits
Roll Call: Kill The Excise Tax On Medical Devices
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the 2.3 percent excise tax is estimated to have a nearly $30 billion negative effect on medical device and diagnostic manufacturers. ... This tax has the possibility of affecting 162,000 jobs in three states alone, never mind the rest of the nation (Reps. Erik Paulsen, Brian Bilbray and Jim Gerlach, 6/7).
Bloomberg: Taxing Medical Devices Will Keep The U.S. Healthy
Congress may well withdraw the medical-device tax. If it does, it won’t be because the industry mustered a strong economic case. It will be because it’s too easy to pull the wool over lawmakers’ eyes (6/6).
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Device Tax, If Not Stopped, Will Stifle
This is nothing more than a tax on U.S. medical innovation, and it will hit states like Minnesota hard. These medical-technology companies will be forced to reduce investments in the industry's lifeblood: research and development (Erik Paulsen, 6/6).
The Washington Post: Unions Are Driving A Wedge Between Democrats
One portion of the progressive coalition — public-sector unions — used the good economic times of the 1990s and 2000s to lock in generous health and pension benefits at the state and local level through collective bargaining. ... But the Great Recession dried up revenues, making health and pension commitments unsustainable, forcing some states into fiscal crisis (Michael Gerson, 6/6).
JAMA: It’s Time to Remake Medicaid
Rather than a single federal-state program for 3 quite different groups, it would make more sense to transfer the disabled and elderly into a revamped Medicaid program that is run by the states with a federal allotment or block grant and much greater state flexibility. Because health care services for these U.S. patients need to be integrated with a range of government and community-based services at the local level, it makes much more sense for those to be organized at the state and local levels without a plethora of federal rules (Stuart Butler, 6/6).
New England Journal of Medicine: The Health Care Jobs Fallacy
The goal of improving health and economic well-being does not go hand in hand with rising employment in health care. It is tempting to think that rising health care employment is a boon, but if the same outcomes can be achieved with lower employment and fewer resources, that leaves extra money to devote to other important public and private priorities such as education, infrastructure, food, shelter, and retirement savings (Katherine Baicker and Amitabh Chandra, 6/6).
The Wall Street Journal: The Obama-Romney Jobs Debate
This week a new television ad from President Obama's re-election campaign says that as Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney had "one of the worst economic records in the country." It's hard to dispute that characterization when you consider the long-term impact of Mr. Romney's health-care reform and the federal legislation it inspired (6/6).
Hartford Courant: Catholic Institutions Ignore Individuals’ Rights
The issue goes beyond providing access to birth-control pills, although that's important enough -- and often necessary to treat medical conditions from fibroid tumors to painful menstrual cramps. Catholic institutions such as universities and non-profit agencies provide health coverage to as many as 700,000 employees, many of them non-Catholic. Surveys show that coverage is all over the map (Maura Casey, 6/6).
Boston Globe: Sweet Deal For Soda
There’s no good reason for soda to be sales-tax free. It’s not an essential item, like milk or clothing. Whether we drink it or not, soda is bad for us. ... And yet our state is one of only 12 in the country that essentially subsidize soda, forgoing sales taxes to make it cheaper than it should be — and thus easier to guzzle in huge quantities (Yvone Abraham, 6/7).