The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, including a provision that would repeal the medical device tax enacted as part of Obamacare.
The legislation included the Protect Medical Innovation Act which eliminates the 2.3% excise tax on the sale of medical devices.
The 2.3% levy on U.S. sales of prescribed medical devices was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act and went into effect at the beginning of 2013. It’s forecast to raise between $20 billion and $30 billion over 10 years.
“This is the 5th time that the House has taken action to repeal this harmful, burdensome tax. I’ll continue to look for avenues to push this legislation forward so we can finally remove a key barrier to medical innovation and job creation. With the American people and a bipartisan majority in Congress in support of eliminating the medical device tax, there’s no excuse not to push its repeal across the finish line,” Congressman Erik Paulsen said in a press release.
In August, The U.S. Senate said it would reportedly take up a bill to repeal the medical device tax before the end of the year, following a U.S. House vote earlier this year to do away with the 2.3% excise tax enacted as part of Obamacare.
The Senate’s repeal bid, sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), is S. 149 or the “Medical Device Access & Innovation Protection Act.” The bill has 39 co-sponsors, including 5 Democrats, but faces an uphill battle in the Upper Chamber. President Barack Obama’s administration has promised a veto should it ever reach his desk.
In June, 46 Democrats joined the vote to approve H.R. 160, the “Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2015,” sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), 1 of several repeal bids circulating on Capitol Hill. In addition to the Hatch bill, which is co-sponsored by Democratic Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Ben Casey of Pennsylvania, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, a pair of Democrat-led bills would also repeal the tax.
But unlike the Hatch and Paulsen measures, those bills would replace the lost revenue by closing tax loopholes for the energy industry. A bill by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), S. 844 or the “No Taxation on Device Innovation Act,” has no co-sponsors. Its counterpart in the House, H.R. 1533 or the “Medical Device Tax Elimination Act” sponsored by Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.), has 9 co-sponsors, all Democrats.