Senate New Deal Should Be No Deal: Nothing In It To Thwart ObamaCare

Published on October 15, 2013

The White House recently denied labor’s top priority on ObamaCare, ruling  that union health plans are not eligible for the new subsidies because they are  already helped by the tax code.

Democrats could be pushing to delay the reinsurance fee for one year as an olive branch after that apparent slight, though it could also create trouble for insurers on the marketplaces.

The possible Senate deal would raise the nation’s debt ceiling until  mid-February, immediately reopen the government and provide funding until Jan.  15.

It remains to be seen if House Republicans will accept a package  that does little to thwart ObamaCare.

The emerging Senate deal defies  several expectations when it comes to the healthcare law.

It does  nothing to delay or end a new tax on medical devices, for example — a move  that appeared to be gaining momentum earlier in the week.

The 2.3  percent tax, which has opposition in both parties, is expected to generate about  $30 billion in revenue for ObamaCare over the next 10 years.

Supporters  say the fee is fair because the device industry will benefit from a wider  customer base under the healthcare law.

But device makers say their tax  will cut jobs and stymie innovation, and this argument has gained traction on  Capitol Hill.

A bill to repeal the device tax has more than 260  co-sponsors in the House, and 30 Democratic senators opposed the fee alongside  their GOP colleagues in a symbolic vote earlier this year.

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