Sen. Al Franken’s largely symbolic, home-state vote in favor of repealing a 2.3 percent Obamacare excise tax on medical device makers came in for a spanking by the Washington Post in a weekend editorial calling the measure “shortsighted.”
Franken was among 33 Democrats (including fellow Minnesotan Amy Klobuchar) who sided with the GOP repeal effort, which has been championed in the House by U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn.
But it was Franken’s name and mug that figured prominently in the opinion piece, which takes the view that the tax is hardly the onerous burden the industry makes it out to be.
The reason for Franken’s prominence in the editorial might be his higher national name-recognition and “progressive” reputation (only the latter was cited in the editorial).
Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren also was mentioned as a progressive Democrat swayed by the “home-state politics” of her med-tech heavy state.
But, as the editorial noted, the vote meant little. It merely approved a nonbinding budget resolution that will not, by itself, provide the tax relief the industry wants. Before that happens, the Senate would have to find something on the order of a $30 billion “offset” to make up for the loss of the tax’s projected revenue.
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