A repeal of the medical device tax won’t make the Republican party’s official platform for the 2012 election, despite widespread support among GOP legislators, industry sources told MassDevice.com today.
The Republican National Committee’s 110-member platform panel has been meeting in Tampa ahead of the Grand Old Party’s convention next week, outlining its official positions as it heads into the fall election.
Although party platforms are non-binding, the document will be voted on by the full convention body next week. The platform serves as a symbolic mantlepiece for the positions the party supports.
The RNC hasn’t released an official draft, but several news outlets report that platform planks include strong opposition to abortion, gay marriage and several other hot-button social issues.
A full repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care & Patient Protection Act has long been the official position of the party, making is a near lock for the platform. That would drown out any specific language relating to the medical device tax set to go into effect in 2013.
The GOP-controlled House of Representatives passed a 2nd vote to repeal Obamacare in July, the 33rd time in 18 months that conservatives have attempted to spike or scale back the healthcare reform act, according to Huffington Post. The device tax was also symbolically repealed by the House in a 270-146 vote in June, but a companion measure is stalled in the Senate and President Barack Obama has vowed a veto should a medical device tax repeal bill ever make his desk.
There was hope among some medical device industry stakeholders that the GOP convention would provide another opportunity to rally support against the 2.3% sales excise tax, but that’s unlikely.
In fact, some of the medical device industry’s biggest Republican supporters won’t even be in Tampa for the convention.
Rep. Erik Paulsen’s (R-Minn.) office told us that the architect of medical device tax repeal won’t have a speaking slot at the convention and isn’t planning on attending.
Sen Scott Brown (R-Mass.), another stauch industry advocate, is not listed in any of the prime-time speaking slots. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), another key voice in the Senate for the medical device industry, is also not appearing in prime time.