Some Health Law Provisions Become Capitol Hill Targets
As some Republican lawmakers step up their opposition to the health law's Independent Payment Advisory Board and consider turning to the Supreme Court for an assist, medical device makers are pushing for repeal of an Affordable Care Act tax on their products.
GOP Haunted By Phantom Health Advisory Board
Congressional Republicans are renewing focus on the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a 15-member panel created by the overhaul. The panel is supposed to recommend ways to lower Medicare spending. The board is, however, so far a phantom organization: Medicare’s spending hasn’t grown fast enough to trigger it into existence, and Obama has not nominated any board members. Why ask the Supreme Court to slay a phantom? The answer lies not just in critics’ principled dislike of the board. It lies also in the worry that the president could breathe it into life at any moment — hard to imagine since nominees need Senate confirmation — and find fiscal benefits to justify his action. (Bettelheim, 12/9)
Device Makers Take Renewed Aim At Affordable Care Act Tax
Medical device makers are hoping a renewed push on Capitol Hill in the new Republican-controlled Congress will halt a tax imposed on their products by the Affordable Care Act. The 2.3 percent excise tax on revenue kicked in last year to offset covering an estimated 25 million uninsured Americans. It applies to most products used in clinical settings. (Freedman, 12/9)