KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

House Passes Repeal Of Tax On Medical Devices

The bill, which is likely to hit tough opposition in the Senate, would roll back a tax in the 2010 health law designed to help pay for the expansion of coverage to people who do not have insurance.

The New York Times: House Acts To Repeal Medical Device Tax
In another assault on President Obama's health care law, the House passed a bill on Thursday to repeal a new tax on medical devices (Pear, 6/7).

The Washington Post: House Votes To Repeal 'Medical Device Tax,' But Senate Unlikely To Agree
Launching a summer-long effort to chip away at the 2010 health-care reform law, the House voted Thursday to repeal a key funding source for the reforms. The Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012 would repeal a 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales receipts in excess of $5 million for manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices, including defibrillators, pacemakers and prosthetic limbs. Congressional budget officials estimate that the tax set to take effect Jan. 1 would raise nearly $30 billion in revenue between 2013 and 2022 (O'Keefe, 6/7).

Reuters: House Votes To Kill Obama's Medical Device Tax
The Republican-led House of Representatives voted on Thursday to strike down a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices and other parts of President Barack Obama's healthcare law, although the effort is likely to hit a wall in the Democratic-led Senate. More than three dozen Democrats sided with Republicans to repeal the provisions, including the tax that the medical device industry has fiercely opposed. The vote was 270-146 (Dixon, 6/7).

Bloomberg: House Votes To Repeal Medical Device Tax In Health Law
Republicans in the U.S. House joined with 37 Democrats to pass a bill repealing a medical-device tax, chipping away at the 2010 health-care law in a victory for companies including Medtronic Inc. and Boston Scientific Corp. The Republican-led House voted 270-146 yesterday to pass the repeal measure. The 2.3 percent excise tax on sales, estimated to raise $29 billion over the next decade, is due to take effect in 2013. It applies to devices such as hip implants and coronary stents that aren’t sold directly to consumers (Rubin, 7/8).

The Fiscal Times: Medical Device Makers, GOP House, Renege On Tax
Ignoring threats of a presidential veto, House Republicans on Thursday repealed the medical device tax included in the 2010 health care reform law to help pay for coverage of the uninsured. ... Opponents of the 2.3 percent tax, which is slated to raise $29 billion over the next decade, argued the minor levy would slow innovation in the medical device field and cost jobs. During the debate over health care reform, device makers, like their counterparts in the pharmaceutical industry, had agreed with reform proponents' arguments that 30 million new paying customers would more than offset any tax losses or fees contained in the bill (Goozner, 6/8).

Politico: House Approves Bill To Repeal Medical Device Tax
Like the other targeted repeal efforts, this one has virtually no chance of getting a vote in the Democratic Senate, and the White House has threatened to veto it — even though there are Democrats who didn’t like the medical device tax to begin with. A Senate GOP aide, however, said that Republicans may try to force a Senate vote on the measure by bringing it up as an amendment — perhaps when a Democratic package of small-business tax breaks comes to the floor later this year (DoBias, 6/7).

The Hill: House Defies Veto Threat, Votes To Repeal Medical Device Tax
The House passed legislation Thursday that would repeal the healthcare reform law's tax on medical device manufacturers. ... To pay for the repeal, the bill would require all overpayments of health insurance subsidies provided in the healthcare law to be recaptured. Under current law, only some of these overpayments must be returned to the government. Overpayments of the subsidies are anticipated because they would be based on prior years' income, and if it is discovered later that a family's income increases, some repayment would be required (Kasperowicz, 6/7).

The Associated Press: House Approves GOP Bill Repealing Medical Tax
Scoffing at a White House veto threat, the House voted Thursday to repeal a tax on medical device makers that Republicans cast as a job-killing levy that would stifle an innovative industry. Lawmakers approved the measure 270-146, with 37 Democrats from states with a heavy presence of medical equipment makers like Minnesota, New York and California joining all 233 voting Republicans. Most Democrats said the bill was yet another GOP attempt to weaken President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, which created the tax to help pay for that law's expansion of health care coverage to 30 million Americans (Fram, 6/7).

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