US Medical Device Tax One Step Closer to Repeal

The US Senate has joined the House in approving a new federal budget that includes provisions to repeal the Medical Device Excise Tax (MDET).

The budget bill has also been signed by President Obama following Congressional passage. 

It must be emphasized that the MDET repeal language in the budget is non-binding; this would not mean outright repeal of MDET if the new budget is enacted, but that legislators would have more leverage--reallocating money from other government programs, forexample, instead of raising or creating new taxes--to come up with alternate revenues to replace the healthcare funding generated by MDET. Congress would first have to identify and approve that alternate revenue source before shutting down MDET.

MDET opponents in the Senate continue to push a separate bill, the Medical Device Access & Innovation Protection Act, that would repeal the medical device sales tax outright, but any repeal effort that does not include an alternative funding source won't likely be supported by Obama. Although the language in the new budget does not mean immediate victory for MDET opponents, it does provide a more politically viable path to repeal. 

Stewart Eisenhart

 

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