The Obamacare Shutdown Negotiations That Totally Aren't Going to Happen Proceed with Sen. Durbin Floating Concessions on Medical Device Tax

The tax has been a bipartisan sore point for a while


Not taxing is like cutting!
Credit: afagen / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

President Barack Obama has repeatedly reiterated that he will not negotiate with Republicans to scale back the Affordable Care Act, so bring on the negotiations! Though he may not be doing so with the approval of the Democrats or the president, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), last seen actually engaging Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in debate during Cruz's filibuster (and before that attempting to intimidate nonprofits and companies over "stand your ground" laws) is at least floating a possible concession. The Hill notes (and has the video interview):

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says Democrats are willing to include ObamaCare's medical device tax in a spending bill that would keep the government funded.  

"We can work out something, I believe, on the medical device tax. That was one of the proposals from the Republicans," Durbin said on CNN's "New Day" Tuesday morning. "As long as we replace the revenue so that we don't put a hole in our deficit and respond to this in a responsible fashion. That's one thing the Republicans want to talk about it. Let's sit down, and put that on the table." 

I don't think "include" is the right word in the lede there, but the point is that Durbin said (after being pressed heavily to identify an area where negotiations are actually possible) the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices enacted by the Affordable Care Act may be on the table. Sadly, from his view, eliminating the tax is dependent on finding the money from somewhere else rather than spending less money, but baby steps, sort of. Peter Suderman, looking at problematic ways Obamacare attempted to raise revenue back in April, noted that the tax's survival was in doubt.