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Business

January 20, 2013

Medical device tax survives fight to kill it

(Continued)

In any case, the University of Maryland’s Kettl said, the White House and most Democrats “are trying to build a deep moat around anything having to do with funding health care reform,” which President Barack Obama considers the landmark legislation of his first term.

The best way for the device industry to make its case now, Ornstein said, is to prove that its dire predictions of layoffs and shuttered businesses are actually playing out.

“There’s little question that big players can deal with this and continue to thrive,” he said. But if small med tech companies “struggle and fail,” the leverage for reform might exist.

On the other hand, Ornstein warned that federal regulators will be on guard against industry manipulation “to make this look awful.”

“That,” Ornstein said, “is the same as health insurance companies jacking up premiums just before the health reform law takes effect.”

Jim Spencer is a reporter with the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Reach him at jim.spencer@startribune.com.

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