The U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways & Means Committee swiftly passed a bill repealing the 2.3% medical device tax through a mark-up session today, voting 23 to 11 in favor of sending the bill to a floor vote.
Rep. Erik Paulsen’s (R-Minn.) "Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2011" won bipartisan support from committee members, according to a statement.
"AdvaMed is very pleased that Congress has taken the first step to stop the medical device tax, a tax that could cost as many as 40,000 jobs and lead to reductions in research and development that will stifle the search for tomorrow’s treatments and cures," the industry trade group said in a statement sent to MassDevice.com today.
The bill, intended to kill an excise tax on all U.S. sales of medical devices that’s set to take effect in January 2013, could get a House vote as early as next week, according to a planning memo from majority leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to House Republicans.
"Related to the medical device industry is the draconian tax that is scheduled to go into effect under ObamaCare. This tax, to fund a flawed law, will have a negative impact on jobs in the medical device industry," Cantor wrote. "Regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, we should all be able to agree on Erik Paulsen’s bill to repeal the medical device tax (H.R. 436) and Lynn Jenkins’ bill to repeal the OTC ban (H.R. 5842). I expect a vote on the Paulsen and Jenkins bills as early as the week of June 4."
The repeal bill is expected to pass through the house quickly as its 239 co-sponsors are more than enough to pass, but the bill hasn’t mustered much support from Democrats. Only a handful have lent their names to the House bill, and not a single Senate Democrat has signed on to the companion bill in that chamber.
"As Congress continues to move forward with this reform legislation, we urge them to consider how the life-changing technology produced by medical device manufacturers improves the quality of life of patients worldwide," AdvaMed added. "This tax must be repealed so that the medical technology industry can continue to grow and innovate."