The House just passed a bill to repeal the medical device tax provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Representatives voted 270–146 to repeal the 2.3% excise tax set to go into effect in 2013. The vast majority of Democrats opposed the bill, though 37 voted in favor of it. No Republicans voted against the measure.
Despite the bill's passing in the House, its supporters still face an uphill battle in their fight to make it law. The repeal effort faces stiff opposition in the Senate, where Democrats hold a majority, and President Obama has threatened to veto any bill to repeal the device tax that comes across his desk.
Last week, House Republicans added a pay-for provision to the bill, which would seek to make up for the $29 billion the tax is expected to raise over the next 10 years by enabling the government to recover overpayments in insurance subsidies provided under the ACA.
In a press conference immediately following Thursday's vote, AdvaMed president and CEO Stephen J. Ubl thanked the House leadership, representatives who voted in favor of the bill, and Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN), the legislation's primary sponsor.
“AdvaMed commends the House for voting to repeal the device tax. Today’s vote is a vote to protect high-wage American jobs, maintain our global competitive leadership and encourage the research and development needed to find tomorrow’s treatments and cures," Ubl said.
Paulsen, who introduced the bill this past January, also released the following statement:
“The House has taken a stand for American leadership in medical device innovation and the nearly half million U.S. jobs it supports. This new ill-conceived tax would force many of our nation’s bright medical technology innovators to lay off workers, move jobs overseas, or worse yet, close their doors altogether. With today’s vote, we show the nation what we can accomplish when we put progress before partisanship. I appreciate the support from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and look forward to action in the Senate on this vital bill for American jobs.”