Key Races for Medtech: The 2012 Presidential Election

Posted in MDDI by Brian Buntz on October 10, 2012

Presidential Race


Barack Obama (incumbent) Mitt Romney

Current Title

President of the United States Former governor of Massachusetts


Democratic Republican


Honolulu, HI / Chicago, IL Belmont, MA

Words on Medtech

Gov. Romney says we should replace [Obamacare]... But the problem is, he hasn't described what exactly we'd replace it with, other than saying we're going to leave it to the states."

—Barack Obama, First Presidential Debate, October 2012

‘Obamacare’ has killed jobs.’”

—Mitt Romney, First Presidential Debate, October 2012

Key Issues in This Race

Healthcare is one of the issues most frequently discussed issues in the 2012 presidential campaign, with the terms “Obamacare” and “Romneycare” used widely to discuss the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Massachusetts’ healthcare system respectively.

Democrats regularly refer to the passage of healthcare reform as one of Obama’s most significant achievements while critics of the legislation are legion among Republicans and the U.S. public. In June, a CBS News/New York Times Poll found that only 34% of Americans approve of the legislation. Disapproval for the legislation within the medical device industry is also widespread with its medical device excise tax provision widely derided. Recently, the Romney campaign has run a campaign ad criticizing Obamacare and its provision to tax medical devices.

While politicians such as Erik Paulsen have expressed their support of the medical device industry and their disdain for the medical device tax, both Romney and Obama have tended to shy away from mentioning the medtech industry explicitly. Instead, they have largely focused on how the healthcare will affect American families and the economy.

The Obama campaign has countered Romney’s criticisms of the Affordable Care Act by linking his Medicare plan to his infamous “47 percent” comment, which surmised that that number of Americans did not pay income taxes and passively relied on government support. 

View Other Key Races in Medtech


Brian Buntz is the editor-at-large at UBM Canon's medical group. Follow him on Twitter at @brian_buntz.

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