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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor revives device tax repeal push

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor

There's something to be said for persistence, and opponents of the 2.3% medical device tax certainly have that. Case in point: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told folks at the conservative American Enterprise Institute that he and other opponents of the tax are renewing their effort to repeal it.

But they failed resoundingly in 2012 and the effort may not be any easier now, speculates Robert Schroeder in MarketWatch's "Political Watch" blog.

Cantor, a Virginia Republican, presented the idea to the AEI on Tuesday as part of a larger round-up of a new Republican focus on areas including health care and education. Long an opponent of the tax, Cantor isn't alone this time, either. Some Democrats from key medical device industry states like Minnesota or Massachusetts support repealing the tax or at least delaying it. Meanwhile, opposition has spread to hospitals forced to cover new surcharges from companies seeking to recoup the 2.3% assessment.

That chorus against the tax continues to include the trade group AdvaMed, and companies such as Boston Scientific ($BSX) and Smith & Nephew ($SNN), among others, are cutting hundreds of jobs and blaming extra costs created by the tax. But Schroeder speculates that all the renewed opposition won't be enough. Why is that? President Barack Obama is "resolute," he noted, about keeping the tax just the way it is.

Either way, the battle continues.

- read the MarketWatch blog
- here's Cantor's full speech comments

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