Medical device companies press to lift ObamaCare tax this month

Medical device companies press to lift ObamaCare tax this month
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The medical device industry is pressing Congress to act before the end of the year to lift ObamaCare’s medical device tax.

In a letter to lawmakers, Scott Whitaker, CEO of AdvaMed, the medical device trade group, warned against waiting until January to pass a delay of the tax, instead urging them to pass the measure this month.

The 2.3 percent tax, which helps fund ObamaCare, is set to go into effect on Jan. 1 unless Congress acts.

“It is vital that Congress does not take a step backward and allow this devastating tax to be reinstituted on the industry,” Whitaker wrote.

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“Addressing the device tax now will provide medical technology innovators with the certainty necessary to support future job growth and sustainable, cutting-edge R&D that will ultimately lead to the next generation of breakthroughs in patient care and treatment,” he adds.

He argues that passing retroactive relief from the tax is still problematic, because companies will have to spend money on compliance costs when the tax goes into effect and could have to wait months for refunds.

Republicans and Democrats have been in negotiations about delaying the tax, as well as other ObamaCare taxes like the health insurance tax and "Cadillac" tax on high-end insurance plans, as part of a coming government funding bill.

The industry is worried the tax delays will have to wait until the larger government-funding bill in January, and not be attached to a short-term funding bill this month.

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee recently released a proposal to delay the medical device tax for five years, which could be the measure that is attached to a spending bill.