On July 24, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protect Medical Innovation Act by a vote of 238-132. This bipartisan legislation permanently repeals the excise tax on medical devices described in the Affordable Care Act.
“Minnesota’s innovators can breathe easier since we’re one step closer to ending the medical device tax for good,” Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), who authored the bill, said in a press release. “Today’s vote shows strong bipartisan support for lifting this burden on innovators in an industry so important to Minnesota. I’m more optimistic than ever we’ll be successful in giving these job creators the certainty and predictability they need to thrive.”
In a speech given by Paulsen in favor of the repeal, he noted the 2.3% excise tax had caused the loss of more than 29,000 jobs in the United States. Through tax suspensions, he said, companies have been able to hire more engineers and technicians and have been able to put more money into research and projects for health care technology.
“A permanent repeal is needed to especially help start-up companies where the next generation of inventions and innovation will come from,” Paulsen said.
Scott Whitaker, president and CEO of the Advanced Medical Technology Association, issued a statement commending the commitment of lawmakers to permanently repeal the excise tax and “for working to ensure our member companies have the long-term certainty they need to invest in [research and development] R&D, hiring and other capital improvements to create the next-generation of treatments and cures.”
“The overwhelming, bipartisan support for repeal sends a strong message that lawmakers recognize this tax is not good health policy or good fiscal policy,” Whitaker said in his statement. “We know a significant majority of the Senate feels the same way and urge them to quickly take up this measure and eliminate once and for all this drag on one of the country’s best hopes for better patient care and economic growth.”
The House agreed on a motion to reconsider the repeal at a later date.