Republicans sound the trumpet as Obamacare contributes to St. Jude's Minnesota layoffs

obamacare st judes.jpg
A new medical device tax has Republicans saying, 'Obama took 'er jobs!'
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Yesterday, St. Jude Medical Inc. announced that it's laying off 300 employees, including 80 in Minnesota.

The company said it hopes to slash $50 to $60 million in costs next year -- almost the exact amount of additional taxes it'll pay thanks to a new medical device tax that goes into effect in January. Don't think that connection is lost on Republicans.

The revenue generated from the tax will help the federal government pay for Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- aka, Obamacare.

From the Star Tribune:
Thomas Gunderson, a senior analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co., said there appears to be a strong connection between the layoffs and reorganization and fallout from the new medical device tax. Starting in January, medical device makers will have to pay a 2.3 percent excise tax on products they sell. The tax is expected to raise $2 billion a year to help pay for President Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The tax is expected to cost St. Jude about $61 million in 2013.

"They have to cut expenses to make up for the medical device tax," Gunderson said. "Although some of this already was in the works."
Indeed, there's more to this story than 'Obamacare took 'er jobs!' Little Canada-based St. Jude's acknowledges that its 2012 sales are expected to decline about one percent from last year. The company is also dealing with the recall of a wire used in defibrillators that contributed to a six percent drop in cardiac rhythm devices.

But as you'd imagine, Republicans didn't concern themselves with the nuances. A Republican St. Jude's employee living in South Carolina offered up this analysis:Closer to home, Kevin Watterson, director of media services for the MNGOP House caucus, tried to bring the story to the attention of Mitt's campaign staff:Republicans have decried the medical device tax since it was first proposed. In June, Minnesota U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen co-wrote a Fox News op-ed with Utah Senator Orrin Hatch entitled, "New medical device tax threatens innovative American industry."

From the op-ed:
[I]n a mad rush to find additional revenue to support the law's trillions of dollars in new spending, the president and his Capitol Hill allies enacted this medical device tax despite the predictable impact on economic growth, job creation and health care innovation. What the proponents of the law fail to understand is the basic concept that if you tax something more you get less of it. If we want to be a nation leading the charge of new health care advancements to treat and cure diseases, then we must repeal this tax...

[A]s America's economy struggles to regain footing, this tax would deliver a staggering blow. As many as 43,000 jobs could disappear, as well as $3.5 billion in worker wages and benefits...

ObamaCare as a matter of policy is unsound and must be repealed. The elimination of the medical device tax will benefit our economy, workers, job creators, patients, and families that depend on the good jobs, high wages, and innovative medical products that this industry creates.
The layoffs certainly seem like a promising anti-Obama and anti-Obamacare talking point for both Romney and local Republicans as they hit the campaign trail, don't they?



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37 comments
amymaryo
amymaryo

You do realize this is a non-profit organization that is funded by tax payer donations right?

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

Anybody who runs a business knows that a company hires people when doing so will allow them to deliver more goods or services to customers, thereby making more money.  Companies lay off workers when they cannot deliver enough goods or services to customers to pay for those employees.  They go out of business when they cannot make enough money delivering goods or services to pay their employees.   It really is that simple.

 

If St. Jude's is laying off workers, it's because they can make the same amount of money without them, or the decline in capacity is worth less money than the available savings from laying them off.  Period.

 

All this talk that businesses will hire more if they get tax breaks, or lay people off if they don't get tax breaks or get tax increases is a crock of Sh*t.  It's pablum for gullible people who don't know anything about business.  Any business that actually hires and fires based on tax breaks or increases, and not based on supply and demand, is a rotten company run by fools and will soon be out of business.  Businesses aren't charities when they get tax breaks, and they aren't martyrs when their taxes go up.

 

These guys should be ashamed of themselves, saying this stuff they know isn't true, and which they know their peers know isn't true.

Andrew Shea
Andrew Shea

Change the damn title it's WRONG and MISLEADING WAKE UP CITY PAGES

_Joe_
_Joe_

This is pure politics on behalf of St Jude.  They know as well as most insurers do that their profits will be HIGHER when more people can afford their services and devices.  This layoff has absolutely nothing to do with taxation of any kind.  Also, the timing is extremely suspect.  Anyone working with or investing in St Jude should seriously consider the implications of working with a company willing to play politics with the livelihood of it's employees.

Nate Reiter
Nate Reiter

Obama made poor design choices in St. Jude products.

Richard Wagenknecht
Richard Wagenknecht

Wait, don't republicans tell us that businesses don't pay taxes? They just pass the cost onto their customers so there's no reason to tax a business. Or has that changed too?

Ted Brogan
Ted Brogan

Obama is to busy slowing the rise of the oceans and healing the planet to be worried about a few jobs. Stop your crying.

JamesHammon
JamesHammon

Device tax just talk to distract from heavy-handed job cuts and even heavier executive salaries.  The gap between the Haves and those merely used by the Haves widens. 

Jean Claude Cau
Jean Claude Cau

I am sure they have their competition in the marketplace, some of that competition is probably not subject to that tax (foreign companies). This would be a typical kneejerk reaction for any company.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

Rupar, I can see why you are a reporter and not a businessman.   Can you please have the lying idiots at St. Judes explain why taxes would lead to layoffs?   If it was such a promising field for growth why would slightly higher taxes lead to mass layoffs.  Looks like losers who don't have a good business model are doing everything they can to blame this on Obama.  If they had a good idea to make and sell they wouldn't be laying off skilled workers.    Your article is especially stupid quoting lying Kevin Watterson.  Since that was a nationwide tax shouldn't Minnesota House Republicans have found a way to keep the tax break locally?   Perhaps by raising taxes on the richest 5% or closing a different tax loophole?     If low taxes truly would stimulate the medical device company why didn't stupid Republicans do their job and save the industry locally?  We know the Republicans are good at passing evil bigoted anti gay and anti voting laws so why didn't they pass a tax cut targeted at this industry?   Do your job.  Don't just copy down Republican memos.   I appreciate some nuance but your headline sucks.  Why spread their lies? 

Jeremy Hop
Jeremy Hop

Isn't this a not for profit?????

Jeremy Hop
Jeremy Hop

Isn't this a not for profit?????

David Urbaniak
David Urbaniak

@justinsavage its just sloppy work, the title, lack of facts/presentation of reality, etc.

David Urbaniak
David Urbaniak

@justinsavage its just sloppy work, the title, lack of facts/presentation of reality, etc.

Yankee Doodle Pablo
Yankee Doodle Pablo

Hehe... And in a related story, George W. Bush comments, "I didn't build that."

Geoff Pursell
Geoff Pursell

Highly questionable. Why wouldn't they just raise their prices uniformly along with every other medical device manufacturer? Layoffs sound like a different problem.

Jason Bistodeau
Jason Bistodeau

One thing I can't stand is misleading article titles.

Jason Bistodeau
Jason Bistodeau

One thing I can't stand is misleading article titles.

Justin Savage
Justin Savage

Did you read your own article? - "Indeed, there's more to this story than 'Obamacare took 'er jobs!' Little Canada-based St. Jude's acknowledges that its 2012 sales are expected to decline about one percent from last year. The company is also dealing with the recall of a wire used in defibrillators that contributed to a six percent drop in cardiac rhythm devices."

Holly Fields
Holly Fields

Woo hoo! It's an Obamacare/Jobs Plan/ Taxes trifecta.

Katie Suzanne Shay
Katie Suzanne Shay

Someone at City Pages really doesn't like Obamacare, methinks...

Erica Martin
Erica Martin

Does a company have to have major profits every year? Tell me why a company (any medical or not) cannot have a bad year? Keep your employees and quit blaming extra taxes. There is no need to make excess profits when you don't share the profits with the rest of the company workers.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

 @swmnguy You know what else gullible people who don't know anything about business like?   Old man yelling at chairs.   We are screwed because this country has too many stupid racist Republicans.   Until these stupid fools start using their brains the corporations will continue to exploit those fools to give CEOs huge paychecks while cutting everyone else's wages. 

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

 @JamesHammon It's such a bullshit story.  a 2% increase in taxes should have little effect on a successful business.   If St. Jude had a good business plan they would never lay off skilled employees because 2% more in costs.  It's just rich assholes lying.

keny1
keny1

 @MicheleBachmann Because they are not lies.  They are the truth.  But you are too blind to see the truth because you are a socialist.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

 @MicheleBachmann You know what would make me feel a lot better about the Democrats?  If they opened their Convention by having Jason Sudeikis come out doing his Joe Biden impression, and had him yelling at a chair.  And then the real Joe Biden comes out and smashes the chair or breaks it over Sudeikis' head like in Pro Wrestling, and Jason Sudeikis runs away and Joe Biden launches the convention.

 

What's diabolically ingenious is the way the elites stir up the nearly-impoverished against both the truly impoverished just below them, and those just above them who have gained a measure of security however small.  They aren't inspiring those on the lower rungs of the ladder to get ahead, but to resent and sabotage those just ahead of them.  Hence the antagonism against any blue-collar union jobs, and all the public-sector employees who could double their wages by working in the private sector but choose to stay in the public sector out of public spirit and the traditional trade-off of security and better benefits in return for less pay.

 

There's a strong redneck attitude in America, bubbling along just below the surface, that anyone like the rest of us who tries to better him or herself is putting on airs and needs to be brought down a notch, humiliated and destroyed.  That's why I left my hometown.  Back home I was a poor kid and everybody could look down on me.  Once I got an education and started to raise my horizons then it became, "Oh, you think you're better than us, huh, college boy?"  Why, as a matter of fact, now that you say that, yes I do. 

 

I moved away from my hometown and doubled my income at my first low-end job in the city, and now I've become a success on a level very few people in my hometown can understand.  Yes, I have a passport full of visa stamps from traveling on business.  They wonder, "Why would you ever want to go there?  What would you eat?  They don't speak English there, do they?  Do they use real money?" 

 

As Steinbeck once said, “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”  That delusion that lower-income Americans are one scratch-ticket away from being Donald Trump makes them very malleable to the  elites.  And the obvious unreality of that delusion causes a painful cognitive dissonance that makes some of them quite vicious indeed.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

 @keny1  , Keny1: Learn something about Capitalism before you call people Socialists.  For that matter, learn something about Socialism before you call people Socialists.  "Socialist" isn't an insult, either; nor is it the opposite of "Capitalist."  Anybody who knows how businesses work knows perfectly well this story is a bunch of crap.  Some of them choose to pretend they believe it, because they think it's to their advantage to be obtuse.  Don't be their chump.

_Joe_
_Joe_

 @keny1  Soo... if I'm following you correctly... They are not lies because they are truth..... And they are truth because they are not lies....

 

Wow.  I am stunned by your powers of paradoxical thinking.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

 @keny1 I actually own a business because I'm not a loser like you.  Unlike you I'm capable of typing a pargraph without saying something stupid or racist.  You are just a stupid racist troll liar like all Republicans.  If I was wrong you would have engaged with me and used facts to make me look foolish.  Instead you are just a stupid loser who thinks socialist is an insult yet have no idea what it means.   Go away loser.  No one wants to hear from a dumb racist like you. 

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

 @keny1 Points for trying, Keny.  but you whiffed.  I have no idea who "MicheleBachmann" is, but I did start my own business a long time ago.  I wouldn't be making 6-figures if I worked for somebody else, that's for sure. I also wouldn't get all the tax breaks I do, or have all the free time I do, or the passport full of foreign visas.  The way the US is set up now, anybody who isn't in business for himself is getting hosed big-time.

 

And I certainly know Obama "won't get me to the 'promised land,'" because no cautious, center-right politician is going to do something like that.

 

Pardon the brevity of my response, but I have a meeting at the HQ of a corporation you've heard of at 9:00 AM.  The project I'm coordinating for them goes off next week, and for the kind of money they're paying me, I'd best not be late.

keny1
keny1

 @swmnguy Just be honest.  You hate America because America was founded on Capitalism.  You detest anyone who earns profit.  You and Michelle are just jealous because you both were too stupid to start a business that could attain profit.  So you hate the Republicans because they accomplished something that YOU couldn't.  Typical Liberal mantra.  Keep on working at minimum wage jobs because that is all you are capable of doing.  But don't blame Conservatives for your lack of skill and initiative.  Sorry, but Obama won't get you to the "promised Land".  But you are stupid and probably believe that.  Libtards!!  LOL!!  Liberals are so sad and pathetic.  But you silly fools make laugh everyday!!!  

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

 @keny1 No one believes you because you are a stupid racist liar who has been exposed as a liar multiple times.  People believe me because I never lie.   I own a small business and I make more money than you and kirk combined.   Not only that I'm relatively young, way younger than a bitter old loser like you.   You are a pathetic waste of space.   I do feel sorry for your kid though.  It must suck having such a pathetic racist loser for a father.   Hopefully he learns everything you say is stupid and wrong at an early age so he has a chance in life.  If not, well, the world always needs more janitors. 

 

 

P.S. I never would have built my business without the roads, schools, and safety a strong government provides.  Go Obma 2012.   Only dumbfuck losers like kenny think a businessman like me does it all by myself.

keny1
keny1

 @MicheleBachmann  @keny1 The only business you own is called the "Company of Bullshit".  And it went out of business 10 years ago.

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