This piece was originally published in the March 2017 issue of electroindustry.
Andy Dhokai, MPPA, Director of Federal Relations, MITA
Of all the issues discussed during the 2016 election, perhaps nothing stirred up more passion than the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). President Trump made its repeal a centerpiece of his campaign and stated his preference for a repeal-and-replace bill earlier this year. Congressional leaders eager to scrap the ACA indicated that the law’s taxes, including the medical device tax, would likely be repealed immediately.
MITA is navigating the moving pieces of the repeal-and-replace plan and launched a full campaign to permanently repeal the device tax before the two-year suspension of the tax sunsets at the end of 2017.
While the White House and congressional Republicans quickly coalesced around a legislative strategy to repeal the device tax, the plan hit several roadblocks. A muddled timeline and the question of how to marry the repeal and replace pieces have left many in our industry speculating over its fate. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), along with Representatives Erik Paulsen (D-MN) and Ron Kind (D-WI), introduced legislation to repeal it early in the new Congress.
These stand-alone bills provide MITA and others in the industry with a rallying point to communicate the harmful effects of the device tax. Stand-alone bills also provide Democrats with an avenue to voice support for repealing the device tax without supporting full repeal of the ACA. Thirty Democrats in the House and four in the Senate cosponsored stand-alone legislation. If the reconciliation process stalls, these bills serve as an important backstop that can be used later in the year to prevent the reinstatement of the tax before its current two-year suspension expires.
Amid this uncertainty, MITA continues to push for repeal of the tax.