With Governor Hickenlooper coming out in opposition to Obamacare's individual mandate, reporters would be wise to ask the Governor where else he might differ from President Obama when it comes to health care policy. Being that the Governor is seen as business friendly, we wonder whether he would oppose the medical device tax in Obamacare that's set to go into effect in 2013.
The new tax is already causing headaches for Colorado businesses looking to grow and add jobs.
From the Boulder County Business Report:
BOULDER — Local companies are strategizing about how to cope with a 2.3 percent federal tax on medical devices that's slated to go into effect in 2013.
"It's a huge burden before you have any critical mass or profits. It reduces the amount of capital you have to invest in products or people," [founder of Louisville, CO-based Medivrance Inc. Robert] Kline said. "I think it's shortsighted and will have a very detrimental effect on the medical-device field and job creation."
…The 2.3 percent excise tax on gross revenue of medical device companies will double the tax bills of most such companies in the region, said Holli Riebel, director of the Colorado Bioscience Association in Denver, an industry trade group with numerous Boulder and Broomfield county members. The trade group is watching the measure closely, Riebel said, adding that there's a move afoot in Congress to potentially repeal it before it takes effect.
…Spinal device company Lanx Inc. in Broomfield is another company that says it will be limited by the tax in how much it can spend for future research and development, as well as for new jobs, said Steve Deitsch, a company spokesman.
At Encision Inc. in Boulder, the feeling is much the same. Encision's 61 employees are involved in making and selling devices and monitors used in laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, surgeries, said Fred Perner, the company's chief executive. [Peak emphasis]
As far as we can tell, Hickenlooper has never been asked on the record about his support for this provision of Obamacare.
With the Governor creating some sunshine between his policy views on health care reform and Obamacare, it would be interesting to know if Hick would like to distance himself from this aspect too.