Repeal of Medical Device Tax Focus of Budget Debate

As Congress and the President spar over the federal budget, the repeal of the medical device tax is a central piece of the debate. Republicans in the House and Senate are insisting that the medical device tax, which, in part, finances the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), be eliminated. 

As MassMEDIC’s newsletter is being drafted, the stalemate continues. On October 1, a group of moderate Democrats and Republicans led by Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) unveiled a proposal that would fund the government through the end of March 2014, while repealing the device tax.

The proposal includes an off-set of $20-$30 billion over 10 years that would come from extending a pension funding stabilization provision that has already been approved by the Senate. The proposed offset, when it was passed by the Senate in June, 2012, enjoyed the support of prominent business organizations such as: 

  • American Benefits Council
  • Business Roundtable
  • Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets (CIEBA)
  • The ERISA Industry Committee
  • National Association of Manufacturers
  • National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
  • Newspaper Association of America
  • US Chamber of Commerce

In addition, Senator Susan Collins of Maine introduced a comprise solution that also included a repeal of the medical device tax on October 5. It is not clear if either the Kind or Collins compromise plans will be considered by leaders in either chamber of Congress.

Medical device companies and trade organizations continue to push for the repeal. A letter, signed by approximately 1,000 companies, associations and related parties, was sent to House and Senate leaders on September 28 urging the repeal. Click here to view the letter.