REPUBLICANS FIGHT TO REPEAL MEDICAL DEVICE TAX

The medical device tax applies to a wide range of products including heart-rate monitors and pacemakers.
The medical device tax applies to a wide range of products including heart-rate monitors and pacemakers.

As Congress debates a budget and Republicans call for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a specific part of the health care law remains a point of contention.

NPR’s Chris Arnold also did a story on this issue

The Affordable Care Act mandates a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices and the House of Representatives passed a funding measure Monday that would have repealed the tax.

Governor Mike Pence also weighed in on the issue, calling on the U.S. Senate to agree to the House’ proposal, saying it negatively impacts the medical community, which provides around 20,000 jobs.

The House’ proposal was quickly shot down in the Senate, but medical companies in Indiana are still holding out hope.

“You’ve seen layoffs at many medical device companies, and you’ve seen those companies transferring jobs to facilities in other parts of the world,” says Dan Peterson, Vice President for Industry and Government affairs for Cook Medical in Bloomington.

Peterson says that Cook fully supports the repeal of the medical device tax.

But Paul Van de Water, a senior fellow with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, says the Affordable Care Act will provide health insurance for as many as 25 million people, and the medical device tax is being used to pay for the expanded medical coverage.

“One of the important things, first, is that the folks who are objecting the tax tend to ignore the fact that the demand for medical devices is going to increase as a result of the expansion of health coverage the affordable care act will provide,” Van de Water says, adding that the tax applies to medical device products sold in the U.S., whether or not they are manufactured here.

Still Governor Pence says the tax will stunt medical innovation is direct and could lead to the elimination of thousands of jobs.

Democrats have taken different stances on whether they would consider repealing the medical device tax in order to pass a spending bill.

Some have said the repeal would add $30 billion to the deficit, but others have indicated that money could be made up elsewhere.

IU Group Protests Plans To Build Largest Gold Mine In Europe


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The Romanian government is considering allowing a Canadian-based company to mine gold in the village of Rosia Montana.

“Romania is known for three major things: beautiful nature, plenty of nice people, and sadly, a corrupt government,” said IU graduate student Alexandra Cotofana, who was part of a group collecting petition signatures Friday in front of the Sample Gates.

protestors at Indiana University gathered one hundred signatures on a petition opposing a proposed mine in Rosia Montana
protestors at Indiana University gathered one hundred signatures on a petition opposing a proposed mine in Rosia Montana

Cotofana said within one hour they gathered about one hundred signatures to stop the proposed gold mine. The demonstrations at IU are part of a larger movement.

As The Guardian reports, demonstrators have also been holding a series of protests in Romania’s capital, Bucharest, this week and an international day of protest is planned for Sunday.

Rosia Montana is generally known for how beautiful she is: The Beautiful village of Rosia Montana

Bloomington Residents Rally For Peace In Syria

protester holds placard that says "how is killing thise who kill stop killing"
protester holds placard that says “how is killing thise who kill stop killing”

 

 

The day after President Obama addressed the nation to build the case for air strikes against Syria, demonstrators gathered at Bloomington’s courthouse square to hold a prayer vigil.

 

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On the anniversary of September 11, demonstrators called for peace with songs, poems, prayers and picket signs proclaiming; ’Stop the escalation,’ ‘No war in Syria.’

“It’s a civil war going on over there that needs to be handled on its own,” Brian Hugo-Kloss said. “I don’t think we should be taking sides.”Several protesters including Hugo-Kloss said they would not support military action of any kind.

“As a free country, as a democracy, I don’t think that it is in our best interest to go and foreignly intervene in other people’s affairs,” said Hugo-Kloss.

The groups that organized the vigil plan to hold another one in Bloomington next week.

Pictures: Felicia Akanmu