Medical device makers hoping new tax is repealed during shutdown debate

Author:
Updated:
Original:

A tax on medical devices that has been a high-profile political football in the broader congressional clash over the nation's budget and subsequent government shutdown is still in the air.

At issue is a 2.3 precent tax on medical devices that went into effect at the first of this year. The tax was designed to help pay for the Affordable Care Act to the tune of $29 billion over about 10 years.

The tax is a hugely important issue to states including Minnesota and Massachusetts, home to major medical device producers, NPR notes in a story that examines one rare united front in the highly divisive battle over the shutdown.

Minnesota lawmakers have said the tax hurts innovation, and a long list of Minnesota-based companies, including device-manufacturing giants Medtronic and St. Jude Medical, have been anxiously eyeing the nation's Capitol for signs of hope that lawmakers would kill tax. Now there are signs it could happen.

Congressional observers say there is bipartisan support for repealing the tax (although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called a repeal "stupid.")

House Republicans had attached a repeal of the tax to a measure that also included a one-year delay of Obamacare, although the Senate won't consider that legislation because of the Obamacare delay.

But on Tuesday, the tax repeal may be a point of compromise between the House and Senate as the two chambers work to end the government shutdown, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Richard Durbin, of Illinois, said, CNN reports.

"We can work on something, I believe, on the medical device tax. That was one of the proposals from Republicans, as long as we replace the revenue," Durbin told CNN.

Next Up

Bob Kroll

What Minneapolis Police Lt. Bob Kroll said in Sunday radio interview

Kroll said that once he's retired he'll go "radio silent."

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for Sunday, January 17

The health department provides updates daily at 11 a.m.

Sen. Julia Coleman

'No one's business': State senator calls out attack on her pregnancy

Sen. Julia Coleman represents Minnesota's District 47.

Willmar Police Department

'Errant bullet' goes through garage wall, kills Willmar man

The man was working in his garage when he was shot, witnesses said.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 10.59.00 PM

Wild tie Kings with 2 seconds left, win in overtime

Another incredible finish for the Wild.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 6.53.17 PM

Mike Lindell's MyPillow offering discounts using the code 'Qanon'

The Shakopee-based company is under the microscope because of the recent actions of its owner.

Surly Brewing

Facing aluminum can shortage, Surly unveils solution: 'Cantyhose'

The brewery came up with a creative way to repurpose unused cans.

Liam Robbins

Gophers stay perfect at home by crushing 7th-ranked Michigan

Liam Robbins and Marcus Carr were too much for the previously undefeated Wolverines.

police lights

Four teens arrested over robberies in Minneapolis

They teens were found in a vehicle that was taken during an earlier carjacking.

Boundary Waters/BWCA

All BWCA visitors will now have to watch three 'Leave No Trace' videos

Visitors left an "unacceptably high amount" of damage last year.

Related

White House threatens to veto bill repealing medical-device tax

The U.S. House is expected to vote Thursday on legislation to eliminate a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices, included in President Obama's health-reform law. The bill is proposed by Minnesota Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen. The Business Journal notes the tax, set to go into effect next year, would impact large companies like Fridley-based Medtronic Inc. and Little Canada-based St. Jude Medical Inc.

House approves Paulsen bill repealing medical device tax

Minnesota Republican Erik Paulsen's bill exempting medical device manufacturers from a new health care tax has passed the House. But it may not get any farther. Democrats in the Senate are not likely to take up the measure. The White House says it will be vetoed if it gets to the president's desk.