House Device Tax Repeal Effort May Raise Profile Of Issue In Election Season
This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet
Legislation to repeal the impending medical device excise tax will be sent to a vote on the House floor, raising the profile of the tax as a congressional election issue even as major impediments to repeal remain in the Senate. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court health care reform ruling looms.
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Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., has been a strong advocate for the medical imaging and device industries. His expected departure to become secretary of state could leave a hole on the critical Senate Finance Committee.
Direct contributions from individuals or company political action committees to candidates from the pure-play device industry totaled $4.7 million to Republicans and $2.9 million to Democrats, as of Oct. 31. This clear edge toward Republicans is a shift from prior election cycles.
The post-election, “lame-duck” Congress will face the prospect of letting massive federal spending cuts take effect and multiple tax increases kick in if it does not take action. Device firms hope to leverage the situation to repeal the looming medical device excise tax and make FDA user-fee fixes while avoiding more Medicare provider cuts.