Given that efforts to reform health care have all but stalled, opponents of the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices ushered in under the Affordable Care Act are scrambling to stop the tax from going into effect. A provision in a December 2015 spending bill put a two-year moratorium on the tax, but the pause is set to expire at the end of the year.
With the deadline looming, 179 House lawmakers, including 43 Democrats, signed onto an Oct. 24 letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) urging him to repeal the tax on medical device sales. “The suspension of the medical device tax expires on Jan. 1, 2018, and it is critical to the health and sustainability of this vital American manufacturing industry that this tax is not once again applied to its products,” the lawmakers wrote. As for a legislative vehicle, the lawmakers simply asked Ryan to “ensure inclusion” in vehicles the House will vote on before the end of the year.
In the Senate, Democrats recently introduced a bill to again delay the tax for another two years. Republicans have introduced a similar bill, albeit one that delays the fee for just one year.
Impact on General Dentistry: The AGD opposes the excise tax on medical devices in its current form and will continue to push for its full repeal.