Washington lobbyists working with the Advertising Coalition breathed a bit easier Friday when learning that the Ad Tax Provision was not likely to be in the House revenue options for funding healthcare reform. But watch the news carefully.
Members of Congress still must find nearly $1 trillion to fund the program. Each time a big ticket idea is floated, it faces stiff opposition. For example, the idea of taxing employer paid healthcare benefits survived only about 2 weeks. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rangel suggested a tax rate surcharge on “the rich” Friday and several moderate Democrats criticized it almost immediately.
In short, the Ad Tax Provision is out of the House version … for now, thanks in part to the . Thus, while the Drug Ad Provision will not likely be in the House Ways and Means package now past due, it remains in the heads of many Members as they scramble to find dollars. The same revenue pressures exist in the Senate, and the Finance Committee is expected to publish its list of revenue options soon. We”re told that Chairman Baucus has heard from several Senators, including Senator Grassley, the ranking Republican member, who support the position of the Advertising Coalition. But remember, Rahm Emanuel, the President”s Chief of Staff, is on record in support of a pharma tax deductibility measure.
Click this link for a copy of the list of the Blue Dog Democrats in the House, the key moderate Members who are most likely to be receptive to the Advertising Coalition message points.