A bill aiming to repeal the medical device tax sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is before the Senate Finance Committee.
The bill was read in and sent to the finance panel Feb. 7, 2013. It would strike all references to the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act from the federal tax code.*
The tax is designed to raise an estimated $30 billion over 10 years to help pay for the Obamacare healthcare reform law. The Hatch bill does not provide a "pay-for" to replace the revenues the tax generates, which will make it a tough sell to some Democrats. Hatch in the past has proposed recouping over-paid health insurance tax credits granted to families as an offset, an unpopular idea on the other side of the aisle.
The senior senator from the Beehive State, who has called the medical device tax “stupid," is the ranking Republican on the finance panel, chaired by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) now that Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is headed to China. The Hatch repeal bill, the "Medical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act," has 39 co-sponsors, including 6 Democrats: Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kay Hagen (D-N.C.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).
Opponents of the tax renewed their push this week, with Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) asking for Pres. Barack Obama’s support and Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) including repeal as a provision of his comprehensive tax overhaul proposal.