House votes to repeal device tax, but what's the point? -- K Trade Fair

House votes to repeal device tax, but what's the point?


House Republicans have voted more than 50 times to change the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) to no avail. They took another stab at one part of the law last week, when the House of Representatives voted 253 to 163 to approve the "Jobs for America Act," which included a measure that would roll back the 2.3% excise tax and refund companies that have already made a payment.

Industry associations the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance, Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), and Medical Device Manufacturers Association immediately voiced their support. Echoing the sentiments of his colleagues, AdvaMed CEO and President Stephen J. Ubl said in a news release, "Repealing this tax will help ensure the U.S. maintains its global leadership in this high-tech manufacturing sector and advance the development of new cures and treatments."

While opposition to the tax is widespread across the industry, even those who grudgingly accept the tax burden take issue with the fact that it is levied on sales, not profits. "That's a hefty blow to 80% of the industry comprised of smaller startup companies, which may be years away from posting profits," writes Sally Pipes on These companies typically spearhead medtech innovation.

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