Politicians who’ve signed on to various bids to repeal the 2.3% sales tax on medical devices that’s taken center stage in the shutdown battle pulled in nearly $40 million from donors who oppose the levy, according to an analysis from MapLight.
The group, which bills itself as "a nonpartisan research organization that reveals money’s influence on politics," analyzed contributions made to members of Congress who’ve signed on to the current repeal bills being floated in the House and Senate.
Some $39.8 million was donated to the legislators during the period from March 23, 2010, when the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act was enacted, to Dec. 31, 2012, according to MapLight.
The medical device tax is a 2.3% levy on all U.S. sales of prescribed medical devices (excluding items sold directly to consumers such as contact lenses or Band aids). It’s forecast to raise nearly $30 billion over 10 years to help defray the cost of Obamacare.
Republicans received more than 61% of the total donated by opponents of the tax, or $24.4 million, with Democrats receiving the $15.3 million remainder. The leading Republican recipient was Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) with $485,428; Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) received $333,984, the most of any Democrat, according to the report.
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), who sponsored the House repeal bill, received $300,500 from anti-tax donors. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the sponsor of the Senate’s repeal bid, took in $471,263.
House speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) pulled in $464,975. Interestingly, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), a leading architect of the healthcare law and a staunch opponent of repealing the tax, received $191,768 from the anti-tax crowd.