Beginning January 1, medical device manufacturers will be subject to a 2.3% excise tax—legislation originally enacted in 2013 as part of the Affordable Care Act, but suspended in 2016.
The tax was strongly opposed by the $150 billion a year industry that produces everything from catheters to heart stents to artificial joints. In Congress, it was unpopular not only with Republicans but many Democrats from states like Massachusetts and Minnesota with large numbers of medical device companies.
Congress voted to suspend the tax for 2016 and 2017 with the widespread expectation it would be permanently abolished before 2018. But various GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the taxes associated with it failed, and the sweeping federal tax overhaul recently signed by President Donald Trump didn’t eliminate the medical device tax either.
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As I have noted before, there is a strong tendency to find taxes on us totally wrongheaded, while also finding that taxes on the other guy are a wise source of government income. This is paralleled on the spending side. Spending that benefits me is an appropriate use of government resources. However I am less enthusiastic, if not hostile, to spending that benefits you.