• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Obamacare In The Senate: Middle Class Taxes And Drug Reimportation

    Following passage of a one-thousand-page omnibus spending bill, the Senate reconvened to continue consideration of HR 3590, the Senate health bill.

    Middle Class Taxes. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) offered an amendment to recommit the Senate health bill back to the Senate Finance Committee with instructions to protect Americans who make less than $250,000 from tax hikes in the bill. In effect, the Crapo amendment would reinforce President Obama’s high-profile promise that Americans making less than $250,000 would not face tax increases.

    In the Senate health bill, there are several provisions that would impose either a direct or indirect tax on people of all incomes, such as the tax on high-cost health insurance plans, the premium tax on insurance companies, the medical device tax and the pharmaceutical tax. Economists know, of course, that such taxes are passed-on to consumers. Nonetheless, the Crapo motion to recommit was defeated by a vote of 45-54.

    In a related action, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) offered a non-binding Sense of the Senate to reject any motion that would raise taxes on middle-class families and small businesses. The problem with the Baucus amendment is that a Sense of the Senate is not binding and has no legal weight. To put it charitably, it is meaningless. Nonetheless, Sen. Baucus’ amendment passed by a vote of 97-1.

    Drug Re-Importation. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) offered an amendment to allow Americans to purchase Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -approved medicines from foreign countries. As a result of this change in law, Dorgan claimed that Americans – especially seniors – would have access to more affordable drugs. This is an old and recurrent issue. Analysts at The Heritage Foundation argue, however, that drug re-importation would have little effect on overall drug costs in America and would also likely increase the costs of drugs in foreign countries. While drug importation would seem like a “quick fix” to decrease the cost of health care, it would have unintended consequences. Sen. Dorgan’s amendment failed by a vote of 51-48.

    In a related action, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) offered an amendment that would have required that Health and Human Services (HHS) certify all imported drugs and guarantee their safety. Sen. Lautenberg’s amendment also failed.

    Authors: Kisa Smith with Robert Moffit

    Posted in Obamacare, Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to Obamacare In The Senate: Middle Class Taxes And Drug Reimportation

    1. Bobbie Jay says:

      KILL THE BILL! Why would the President insist on pushing his corruption of health care through, implying if he didn't, it would cause POLITICAL DAMAGE!? The majority of Americans DON'T WANT IT!

      These people can't be this dense! IT'S PURE EVIL. If the President can't have a bill written that's understood by all, obviously he is hiding much! KILL THE BILL!


    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.