Tea Party letter demanding repeal of medical device tax written by medical device lobbyist
As House Republicans forge ahead toward a government shutdown in order to temporarily delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Lee Fang at The Nation reports that there’s an effort to permanently repeal one of the Act’s primary sources of funding: a 2.3 percent tax on medical device companies.
Led by AdvaMed, a medical device trade organization, industry lobbyists have pushed hard to ensure that their clients don’t contribute to the Act’s financial viability.
Fang claims that metadata embedded in a letter ostensibly written by 75 Tea Party Republicans to House Speaker John Boehner reveals that it was, in fact, the work of an AdvaMed government affairs officer by the name of Ryan Strandlund.
The letter specifies that passage of the ACA is particularly onerous to “America’s medical device manufacturers,” which it claims has already been forced to relinquish “jobs [it] cannot afford to lose.” This new tax, the letter claims, “would severely hamper medical device innovation, patient access to new therapies and treatments, and job creation.”
As Fang points out, it’s not necessarily unusual to find lobbyists directly responsible for the language of letters that pass between members of Congress.
But it is suspicious that this letter was penned by one member of AdvaMed’s lobbying team, and would have been received by Speaker Boehner’s deputy chief of staff, Brett Loper, who had worked as AdvaMed’s chief lobbyist and, in fact, orchestrated the group’s first attempt to repeal the tax.
[Image via AFP]