Posts Tagged ‘Lobbyists’

Medical R&D Could Benefit From Proposed Tax Breaks

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Proposed tax breaks could boost medical innovation, create U.S. jobs. Medical research will get a boost from the Obama administration’s proposed stimulus package that creates a permanent research and experimentation (R&E) tax credit for companies that carry out research-and-development (R&D) activities in the United States. Under the proposal, R&E tax credits would total as much as 20 percent, with $100 billion allocated over 10 years to qualifying research firms.  According to President Obama, he will pay for the tax breaks by ending loopholes that let companies benefit financially by moving jobs and R&D overseas.

Medical device manufacturers’ lobbyists claim it’s too early to determine how much the R&E tax credits will promote product innovation and create new jobs.  The Advanced Medical Technology Association, however, applauded the move.  Bret Loper, senior executive vice president government affairs, said “AdvaMed has long supported making the R&D credit permanent.  We look forward to seeing the details of this new proposal and the other tax changes being discussed today to determine how they will affect America’s medical technology companies.”

The National Venture Capital Association, which recently started the Medical Innovation & Competitiveness Coalition, counters that the new initiative will primarily benefit large companies rather than start-ups.  “What our experience has been is that if a company is not profitable and paying taxes, they wouldn’t be eligible” for the tax credits, said Emily Mendell, the association’s spokesman.

Republican Senators Trying to Derail One Provision of Healthcare Reform

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Senate Republicans want to fast-track an amendment that repeals a portion of the new healthcare reform law. Whether or not they will be able to accomplish this is another question.Republicans make first attempt at scuttling healthcare reform legislation.

Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) has proposed legislation to rescind a provision in the new law that requires businesses to report purchases of $600 or more to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Business lobbyists such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) both support the legislation.  Republicans want to attach the repeal provision to a broader bill intended to help small businesses.  According to the Chamber and the NFIB, the provision places a burdensome obligation on the nation’s 40 million small businesses.  Under this provision of the healthcare reform bill, businesses are required to file an IRS 1099 form for non-credit card purchases totaling $600 or more.  Johanns says that rule is “overly burdensome.”

To make up for the $17 billion that the provision would raise, Johanns has proposed reducing the individual mandate threshold and defer $16 billion in funding for wellness programs.  Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and other Republicans have introduced legislation that would kill the Independent Payment Advisory Board that the healthcare reform law created.  Democratic Senators who wrote the legislation counter that the board is needed to reduce consistently increasing healthcare costs.

Theodore Roosevelt Was Bullish on Healthcare Insurance

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

The battle for national healthcare insurance is not new and goes back almost a to the era of President Theodore Roosevelt.
In opening remarks at the March 5 White House conference on healthcare, President Obama gave credit to Roosevelt when he noted that “The problems we face today are a direct consequence of actions that we failed to take yesterday. Since Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform nearly a century ago, we have talked and we have tinkered. We have tried and fallen short, we’ve stalled for time, and again we have failed to act because of Washington politics or industry lobbying.”

071011_nobel_roosevelt_vmed12p_widecPresident Theodore Roosevelt lived during what was known as the Progressive Era. A proponent of health insurance, he believed that a country could be strong only if its people were healthy. Roosevelt’s successors were conservatives, who postponed the kind of leadership that might have involved the government more extensively in managing the nation’s social welfare.

One plank in the Progressive Party 1912 platform – when Roosevelt was the party’s candidate for president — was “The protection of home life against the hazards of sickness, irregular employment and old age through the adoption of a system of social insurance adapted to American use.” The proposed health service was local, not centralized, with employers contributing one third of the cost and workers contributing two-thirds.