Medtech industry lobbying group AdvaMed has split from other medical associations and thrown its support behind the newly drafted GOP healthcare bill looking to repeal and replace Obamacare, according to the Boston Globe.
AdvaMed is supporting the bill mainly as a way to eliminate the 2.3% tax on medical device sales initially imposed to help cover costs in Obama’s ACA bill, according to a Boston Globe interview with chief advocacy officer J.C. Scott. A hold on the 2.3% tax on U.S. medical device sales went into effect at the beginning of 2016 and is slated to expire by the end of this year.
“Our engagement on the broader [GOP] bill is connected to and contingent on repeal of the device tax. We’re laser-focused on that piece of it,” Scott told the paper.
The decision positions AdvaMed in opposition to other medical lobbying groups, such as the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and the American Nurses Association, all who oppose the bill.
“Every association is representing the interests of its membership, just as we do,” Scott said, according to The Boston Globe.
Support form AdvaMed came just before the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released data on the effects of the Trumpcare bill, which it says would cause 14 million individuals to lose healthcare next year, with 24 million losing coverage by 2026. The bill would also cut $337 billion from the federal budget deficits over 9 years, the CBO said.
Average premiums for individuals buying insurance on their own would increase 15% to 20% in 2018 and 2019 compared to the current ACA law, according to the budget office, but would be lower by approximately 10% by 2026.
The plan would also immediately remove the penalty for people who do not have health insurance and halt the expansion of Medicaid at the beginning of 2020, capping funding for the federal healthcare program for the poor. It would preserve a pair of popular Obamacare features: Allowing children to remain on family health plans until age 26 and barring insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.
The newly inked plan would abolish subsidies for purchasing healthcare, instead creating age-based tax credits that could be used to buy health insurance; the credits would be capped for people with higher incomes. And it would direct $100 billion to the states for programs aimed at certain populations, such as high-risk pools of the sickest patients.
AdvaMed also recently threw its support behind Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who has been nominated as FDA commissioner, and Seema Verma, who was confirmed this week as CMS administrator.
“AdvaMed congratulates Dr. Gottlieb on his nomination as FDA Commissioner. His medical credentials, combined with years of service in leadership roles at both CMS and FDA make him a strong choice to lead this key agency. Our industry applauds Dr. Gottlieb’s commitment to innovation in medical technology and his recognition of its important role in providing the best care possible for patients. Specifically, we look forward to working with Dr. Gottlieb and his team on the medical device user fee reauthorization in the coming weeks and months in our mutual pledge to continued patient access to life-changing technologies,” Whitaker said in a prepared statement.
“AdvaMed congratulates Seema Verma on her confirmation as CMS Administrator. Ms. Verma’s wide-ranging experience working with state Medicaid, health, and insurance departments demonstrates her ability to lead CMS through the challenges of the next several years. We welcome the opportunity to work closely with Administrator Verma and her team in order to improve patient access to innovative medical technologies,” Whitaker said in a press release.