The U.S. House of Representatives on July 25 did away with a 2.3% tax imposed on medical device tax sold by a manufacturer, producer or importer, which was originally included in the Affordable Care Act to help pay for the health insurance subsidies included in the law.
Minnesota Republican Erik Paulsen spearheaded the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2017 (H.R. 184) which had 277 sponsors in House, including 44 Democrats, an indication of the bipartisan support for the legislation.
A stopgap spending deal that was signed by President Trump in January included a two-year delay of the medical device tax. That followed the first delay of the excise tax, until 2019, by the Obama Administration.
Repealing the device tax would reduce federal revenues by about $20 billion over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The medical device industry, however, says the tax would have hampered the development of life-saving technological advancements.
The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AMTA) strongly supported the repeal of the excise tax, which it said would stifle investments in research and development, capital improvements, and jobs.
“The overwhelming, bipartisan support for repeal sends a strong message that lawmakers recognize this tax is not good health policy or good fiscal policy,” says Scott Whitaker, AMTA President and CEO. “We know a significant majority of the Senate feels the same way and urge them to quickly take up this measure and eliminate once and for all this drag on one of the country’s best hopes for better patient care and economic growth.”