The covey of medical device executives that alit on Capitol Hill last week to lobby for repealing the medtech tax and getting a new user fee deal with the FDA in place reportedly found a ready ally in Dr. Tom Price, head of the U.S. Health & Human Services Dept.
More than 50 medical device company officials met with dozens of legislators and federal officials June 15, pressing for a repeal of the 2.3% tax on U.S. medtech sales enacted as part of Obamacare. Although the tax is currently in abeyance, it’s set to go back into effect next year.
Price told the execs, who were on The Hill under the auspices of AdvaMed, that the Trump administration has every reason to admire medtech for the job creation and innovation it generates, the Washington Post reported.
Saying he was “adamantly opposed” to the medical device tax as a Republican representative for a district in Georgia during the negotiations over Obamacare, Price said the levy doesn’t make sense and impedes innovation, “sources in the room” told the newspaper.
Although the House version of the Trumpcare bill would abolish the medical device tax, the group of senators negotiating the Upper Chamber version behind closed doors is said to be mulling the retention of some Obamacare taxes.
Price is likely less receptive to the industry’s hopes for the user fee deal with the FDA, given the administration’s plan to double user fees to $2.4 billion in a bid to lower taxpayer funding of the federal safety watchdog.
“There’s been some less than helpful messaging from the White House in terms of how they want to approach that,” J.C. Scott, AdvaMed’s chief advocacy officer & external affairs head, told Morning Consult. “Any time slippage that we see on The Hill in terms of getting that legislation done causes us concern.”