In what was largely just a symbolic gesture, the U.S. Senate voted Thursday by an overwhelming majority to repeal a tax that helps pay for President Obama’s healthcare overhaul of 2010. By a 79 to 20 vote, the Senate rescinded the tax of 2.3% on importers and manufacturers of medical devices. That tax is expected to raise more than $2 billion in 2013 of new revenue and over $20 billion over a seven-year period.
The vote on Thursday night was a nonbinding one since it is an amendment to a budget resolution in the Senate, which will not likely result in a plan for the budget that the House, controlled by the Republicans, would agree with.
The tax on medical devices is one of the tax increases of 2013 that amounted to over $24.6 billion the Affordable Care Act mandated when it took effect back on January 1, 2013.
However, the lopsided margin of the vote on Thursday indicated there is discontent amongst senators with a tax that helps to fund the Act. Of the 79 senators who were in favor of repealing the tax, 28 had originally voted for the Act in 2010.
The amendment, which was bipartisan, to rescind the new tax, was co-sponsored by Democrat Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Republican Orrin Hatch of Utah.
Last year, while the negotiations for the fiscal cliff were taking place, Klobuchar and other fellow senators worked to attempt to delay for at a year the new tax, but their effort failed.