“The House passed legislation Thursday that would repeal the healthcare reform law’s tax on medical device manufacturers. The measure won the support of 37 Democrats despite a veto threat from the Obama administration. The bill was approved 270-146 after a debate in which Republicans said members of both parties support repeal of the 2.3 percent tax, which was created by the 2010 healthcare law.”

“The House voted Thursday to advance legislation that would repeal the 2.3 percent medical device excise tax imposed by the Democratic healthcare law in 2010, which would raise an anticipated $29 billion over the next decade. Members approved the rule for the legislation, H.R. 436, in a mostly partisan 241-173 vote, although eight Democrats joined Republicans in support of the rule.”

“Most American employers believe that a Supreme Court decision rejecting the entire healthcare law would be the best option for their finances, a new poll finds. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed believe a ruling voiding the law would best bolster their bottom line.”

“There is bipartisan concern that the IPAB could harm Medicare and limit access to care for seniors. The IPAB is a panel of 15 unelected, unaccountable government bureaucrats empowered to ‘reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending.’ In the text of the healthcare law, it states that while the law prohibits ‘any recommendation to ration health care,’ it does not prohibit slashing payments to physicians and other medical providers.”

“The final bill would subsidize prescription drugs, force states to include drug coverage in Medicaid, and expand private insurance coverage of drugs. Also, the White House pledged to oppose policies that Obama had promised on the campaign trail: allowing reimportation of prescription drugs and empowering Medicare to negotiate for lower prices on the drugs Medicare is paying for. In return, drug companies would offer a discount to some senior citizens, and would spend millions of dollars on ads supporting the bill and the lawmakers who backed it.”

“Top administration officials cut backroom deals with the nation’s top drug companies to win support for President Obama’s health care overhaul, threatening them with steeper taxes if they resisted and promising a better financial deal for the industry if they acquiesced, according to internal documents released Thursday by House Republicans. In some of the key deals, Mr. Obama agreed to drop his long-standing support for letting Americans buy cheaper foreign prescription drugs — something the pharmaceutical industry vehemently opposed — and the drugmakers promised to mount a public campaign to sell the public on the health care legislation.”

“Makers of medical devices are gaining some momentum in a vigorous campaign to persuade Congress to scrap a tax imposed on their industry by the 2010 health-care law. A bill to void the tax sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) will be marked up in the House Ways and Means Committee Thursday. Republican House leaders say a floor vote could be scheduled as soon as next week.”

“The PR push is part of a sustained effort to try to sell the unpopular Obamacare law to the American public. Last year, HHS asked Congress to quadruple the budget for its public affairs office – to nearly $20 million – and nearly double the size of the office’s staff. The department insisted the changes were necessary to ‘help Americans understand and access their benefits and information under the law.'”

“Politico is reporting that House Republicans are preparing for the possibility that the Supreme Court upholds the law by drafting new legislation. ‘When the court rules, we’ll be ready,’ House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) told the House Republican Conference on Wednesday. But what’s surprising about alleged GOP plans is that they involve preserving significant—and damaging—aspects of the Affordable Care Act, for what appear to be political reasons. I’m not convinced that the story is accurate.”

“Quinnipiac University is out with a new poll of voters in three key swing states—Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The headline is that Romney slightly leads Obama in Florida and Ohio, whereas Obama is winning Pennsylvania. But the poll also asked voters if they wanted the Supreme Court to overturn Obamacare, and in all three states, voters said ‘yes.'”