House Dems: Repeal medical device tax by Memorial Day

House Dems: Repeal medical device tax by Memorial Day
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More than a dozen Democrats are pressuring House leadership to advance a bill that repeals ObamaCare’s medical device tax before Memorial Day.  

Rep. Scott PetersScott H. PetersReps introduce hurricane preparedness bill House Dems attempt to force vote on gun background checks bill Periscope shines during House blackout MORE (Calif.) led 17 House Democrats in a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging “timely passage” of the bill.

Peters and 17 other Democrats warned that the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices is prompting companies to slash their budgets on research and development, which they say “puts the discovery of new breakthrough medical technologies at risk.”

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The medical device tax, which applies to all manufacturers and importers, has been a much-maligned piece of ObamaCare since its passage.

Lawmakers from both parties — including prominent Democrats such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Al Franken (Minn.) — have repeatedly called on Congress to repeal the provision.

The provision was initially included as a funding mechanism for the law. Repealing the provision would cost $26 billion over the 2015-2024 period, according to a February report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The Obama administration is likely to oppose the repeal unless lawmakers can find a way to make up the cost.

The letter from Peters comes at a time when the Democratic Party is seizing on the GOP’s reluctance to make any changes to ObamaCare, despite some bipartisan agreement, as some Republicans remain committed to full repeal.

The letter, which is dated May 1, was released Monday.

Finding time to debate the bill this month will be tough for House leaders, who are already facing debates over trade, highway funding and surveillance reform in the next few weeks.