The immolation of the Trumpcare bill last week doesn’t bode well for the medical device industry’s hopes for repeal the medtech tax that’s slated to go back into effect next year.
The 2.3% excise tax on U.S. medical device sales was enacted along with the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and went into effect in 2013. A 2-year moratorium put in place in 2015 is slated to expire at the end of this year; proponents of repealing the tax were hopeful that the repeal-and-replace legislation that failed last week would put a permanent nail in the levy’s coffin.
But Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, said yesterday that any taxes associated with Obamacare are not on the table when it comes to the next big Republican push: Tax reform.
“We never envisioned bringing Obamacare taxes into that [tax reform] effort and I still don’t,” Brady said, noting that the ACA taxes “go away when we repeal and replace. And so regrettably, they stay in place.
“I’m encouraging [the Senate] to step forward with their repeal-and-replacement plans, because these are their Senate rules that dictates how this goes forward,” he said.
Scott Whitaker, president & CEO of AdvaMed, told MassDevice.com via email that the fight is far from over for repeal proponents. The trade lobby plans to continue its “aggressive” push to capitalize on the bipartisan support for repealing the tax, Whitaker told us.
“There are still several options to make this tax go away permanently, including stand-alone legislation, which enjoys support from a significant majority of House members and a strong bipartisan coalition in the Senate,” he said. “We cannot allow this tax to be reimposed on a vibrant and innovative American industry and look forward to working with Congress and the administration to end this tax once and for all.”
Whitaker said AdvaMed plans to huddle with longtime Capitol Hill supporters of repealing the tax, including Brady, Reps. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
Republicans in the House today vowed that their initiative to repeal Obamacare is not over.
“The fact that our conference is more resolved than ever to repeal this law is very encouraging and we’re not going to stop until we get it done,” majority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said after a closed meeting on The Hill. Ryan declined to give a timeline on any new attempt to pass healthcare legislation “because we want to get it right.”
Material from Reuters was used in this report.