House votes to repeal ObamaCare medical device tax
The House on Tuesday voted to repeal ObamaCare’s medical device tax, a provision that members of both parties have criticized as harming innovation.
The House voted 283 to 132 to repeal the 2.3 percent tax on sales of medical devices, with some Democrats joining Republicans to approve the measure. 57 Democrats voted for the measure.
The vote comes during a week of health-care measures put forward by the GOP as they try to blunt Democratic attacks over rising premiums, a key midterm message.
The vote could help Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), the sponsor of the bill, who faces a tough reelection fight this year.
“This bill reverses a harmful tax that is hurting job growth and innovation across the country,” Paulsen said.
There is no clear path forward for the measure in the Senate this year, however.
The tax has already been delayed twice, but this bill would permanently repeal it, which backers say is needed to give certainty to industry.
Some Democrats opposed repeal of the tax, though, pointing out it would deprive the government of about $20 billion over 10 years and that repeal of the tax is not paid for.
“We devised the Affordable Care Act so that it would be paid for and we would not have to add to the deficit,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.).
Scott Whitaker, CEO of the medical device industry group AdvaMed, urged the Senate to act after the vote.
“We know a significant majority of the Senate feels the same way and urge them to quickly take up this measure and eliminate once and for all this drag on one of the country’s best hopes for better patient care and economic growth,” he said.
Updated at 5:28 p.m.