Truth about the medical device tax

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA aka ‘Obamacare’) imposes a 2.3% tax on the manufacturers and importers of some medical devices, which is expected to generate almost $30 billion in tax revenue from 2013 to 2023. These $ are used to subsidize Medicaid expansion and insurance exchanges.

The ACA and later the IRS has exempted some retail purchases such as glasses, hearing aids, and contacts, some over-the-counter products, tests and durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics etc.

The lobbying by medical device companies to the tune of > 30M$ has been directed to bipartisan support in Congress tor repeal the tax and but has failed to have enough votes to override a presidential veto. If repealed, the national deficit will enlarge even more (>24B$ over ten years).

There is debate by industry that this is resulting in loss of jobs and shift of $ from R&D to paying taxes and yet the evidence is mixed thus far.

Count on the rich/powerful device lobby to have enough money to influence even the Elizabeth Warren (Senator from Mass.) wing of the D party, which has never met a tax it does not like to support repeal!

Let us see what happens.