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White House issues veto threat against bipartisan Obamacare bill

The White House has issued a veto threat against a bill that would repeal a specific tax included in the Affordable Care Act, even though the bill has support from both Republicans and several Democrats.

The Republican-led House will vote later this week on the bill to repeal an excise tax on medical device manufacturers and importers. The 2.3 percent excise tax on items like insulin pumps or pacemakers is expected to bring in around $26 billion between 2015 and 2024.

However, the tax would hit manufacturers across the country, giving lawmakers from both parties, including liberals like Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, reason to oppose it. The legislation to repeal the tax has 283 bipartisan co-sponsors in the House and 37 bipartisan co-sponsors in the Senate.

The White House argues that the medical device industry can afford the tax.

"The medical device industry, like others, will benefit from millions of new consumers who are gaining health coverage under the Affordable Care Act," the administration's veto threat says. "This excise tax is one of several designed so that industries that gain from the coverage expansion will help offset the cost of that expansion."

The administration also notes that the legislation does not find an alternative way to collect the billions in revenue that would come from the tax.

If the bill passes in the House, it would also have to pass in the Senate before overcoming the president's veto threat.

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