The House approved a health care bill that includes a one-line provision to repeal the medical device excise tax as of Dec. 31, 2017.
U.S. manufacturers of medical devices kicked off 2016 with a taste of tax relief courtesy of the two-year suspension of the 2.3 percent tax on gross sales of medical device passed as part of a larger tax-break and budget deal in late 2015.
But should the narrowly passed House bill fail to garner Senate approval, the device tax could end up in limbo, requiring stand-alone legislation for a suspension to remain in effect. And the Senate cannot vote on a bill until it has a formal cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.
Lobbying industry watchdog OpenSecrects.org estimates more than $158 million has been spent by medical device manufacturers since 2012, trying to keep the tax at bay. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) projected the tax would bring in $29 billion in net revenues over 10 years after it went into effect in January 2013 as part of the Affordable Care Act.