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House to vote on repealing medical device tax

Washington — A bill to repeal a tax on medical devices will soon be brought to a vote in the House of Representatives.

The 2.5 percent tax on medical devices was set to begin in 2013, Medscape Today reports. The tax is a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the major healthcare reform that went into effect in 2010.

According to Medscape Today, the industry has lobbied legislators, especially Republicans, to repeal the tax, claiming it will make the medical device industry less competitive and inhibit innovation.

Under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, a medical device is any “instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, contrivance, implant” or similar or related article.

The House Ways and Means committee voted 23 to 11 — including support from two Democrats — in favor of the Protect Medical Innovation Act, the full name of the bill seeking to end the tax. The full House is expected to vote on the bill before the end of June.

Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., has been a major proponent for the repeal of the tax. Rep. Paulsen’s district includes major device manufacturers, such as Medtronic, St .Jude Medical and portions of Boston Scientific.

To offset the loss of tax revenues, House Republicans are expected to introduce a plan to require people to repay excess tax credits received under the PPACA’s insurance exchanges. There is currently a cap on individuals’ liability for overpayments.

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