Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) is taking another swing at the medical device tax, including a repeal measure in a jobs bill that he plans to introduce this week.
Dent’s legislation would strike the medtech levy alongside measures to restore emergency unemployment benefits, which he plans to pay for through a change the child tax credit, and measures to authorize the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, Politico reported.
"If you’re going to extend emergency unemployment benefits, they must be tied to job creating or job saving measures," Dent told Politico. "And that’s what each of those proposals does."
The bill, which positions Dent as one of few House Republicans actively pursuing extensions for unemployment benefits, isn’t Dent’s 1st attempt at taking down the medtech tax. He and fellow Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) included a repeal measure in an October 2013 compromise bill to fund the government.
Dent’s compromise would have included a "pay for" to recoup the nearly $30 billion the medical device tax is expected to generate over a decade by making changes to pension fund rules. Pay-for concerns have long plagued efforts to repeal the medical device tax, which was created under the Affordable Care Act to help fund healthcare reform.
Advocates of repeal have made significant headway on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have signed their names to measures that would repeal the tax, but previous pay-for proposals have rubbed Democrats the wrong way, and President Barack Obama has on more than 1 occasion promised to veto a device tax repeal bill should one land on his desk.
Former President Bill Clinton weighed in on the medtech tax over the weekend, telling an audience of healthcare stakeholders in Laguna Beach, Calif., that "if you want to get rid of it you’ve got to say how you’d replace it."