An amendment that would have pushed back the start date on a proposed medical device industry tax didn’t make it into the healthcare reform bill the U.S. Senate is debating and expected to pass on Christmas Eve.
Last week, senators from medical device-rich states
proposed significant changes to the medical device tax. Their amendment would have pushed the start date for the tax back to 2013 instead of 2010, accelerated the payments to take place over seven years instead of 10 and excluded companies with less than $100 million in sales.
But the measure was not adopted by the Senate bill now being debated, although the start date on the tax was pushed back to 2011.
Officials at the Advanced Medical Technology Assn. (AdvaMed) said they’ll continue to advocate for the amendment’s provisions to be included in the compromise bill that has yet to be hammered out between the House and Senate, a process that’s expected to begin after the holidays.
The amendment is being sponsored by Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) also signed on. In addition to exempting companies with less than $100 million in annual sales, it would have companies reporting between $100 million and $150 million pay an excise tax on 50 percent of their revenues; the rate for companies with more than $150 million in annual sales would be 100 percent. If approved, the amendment would also make the excise tax deductible.
“We are pleased by the movement of the start date but will continue to press elements of the Bayh-Klobuchar amendment as the process moves forward,” AdvaMed spokeswoman Wanda Mobius told MassDevice. “We believe a 2013 start date, as included in the House bill, is more appropriate to allow companies time to adjust their operations and would also coincide with any benefits of coverage expansion.”