US government takes a pause, medical device tax repeal effort does not

The partial shutdown (except essential services) of the Federal Government due to the missed budget deadline will mean some suspension of services and furloughed people (with the far more important debt limit/default deadline looming in mid-October)–but no year long postponement of the unready-for-prime time Affordable Care Act (ACA). What is surprising is the bi-partisan support, separate from the budget wrangle, for eliminating the medical device excise tax, (more…)

Telehealth Soapbox: Medical device tax finally under fire; implications many (US)

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”180″ /]A key part of the Rube Goldberg (or Heath Robinson)-esque funding of the Accountable Care Act (ACA, a/k/a Obamacare) is a punitive medical device tax of 2.3 percent levied on gross sales (not profits) of hip, knee, cardiac implants, many dental materials, diagnostics such as scanners, radiotherapy machines, catheters and more. Since it went into effect on 1 January, it has raised $1 billion according to the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance, the Advanced Medical Technology Association and the Medical Device Manufacturers Association in July–for a program that does not start till 2014. According to The Hill, senior Senators Orrin Hatch, Barrasso and Hoeven are pushing for a repeal amendment to be attached to the stopgap spending bill. The reasons why the tax deserves to be tossed out on its ear are: (more…)