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Republicans try linking Donnelly to tax he opposes

Friday, June 1, 2012 - 2:15 pm

U.S. Sen. Dan Coats and Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock spent a campaign stop Friday attacking Mourdock’s opponent for a health care provision he doesn’t even support.

After a tour of the C&A Tool plant in Churubusco, the two Republicans tried to link U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Granger, with a tax on medical devices set to go into effect next year as part of President Obama’s health care law.

Mourdock called the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices a “terrible thing that threatens jobs here in Churubusco.”

About 25 percent of C&A Tool’s business comes from making medical devices, such as tools for surgery and prototype artificial joints, owner Dick Conrow said.

But even though Donnelly voted for the health care reform law, he has publicly opposed the medical device tax since 2009 and is co-sponsoring a bill making its way through the House that would repeal the tax.

“Joe co-sponsors the bill to repeal the medical device tax, and I don’t think it’s particularly honest of them to try to assign a different point of view to him,” said Ben Ray, a spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party.

In October 2009, Donnelly and 16 of his colleagues sent a letter to House leadership in opposition to the $4 billion annual tax. In a statement at the time, Donnelly cited the 18,500 Hoosiers employed by the medical device industry.