Fight Brewing over New Medical Equipment Tax

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An election-year battle is brewing over a tax created under President Obama's 2010 health care overhaul. 

Republicans are trying to repeal a 2.3 percent tax on medical equipment makers. They plan to push the measure through the House this week. 

Rep. Erik Paulsen, the bill's chief sponsor, is from Minnesota, one of the centers of the nation's $130 billion-a-year medical device industry.

Paulsen has said the tax would eat up dollars that otherwise might go toward research and jobs. U.S. medical device makers employ more than 400,000 people.

Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., has said Republicans are trying to unravel the health care overhaul when they should be working on legislation to strengthen the economy.

Democrats also say the medical equipment industry can afford the tax and it will get millions of new customers from the health law.

The repeal legislation is expected pass in the Republican-run House, only to die in the Democratic-run Senate.

The vote comes as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on on the constitutionality of the health care law later this month.

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