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house Bill H.R. 160

Should the Tax on Medical Devices Through the ACA be Repealed?

Argument in favor

Even though the medical device tax is supposed to apply to manufacturers and importers, the costs just get passed on to consumers. Passing those costs off on patients makes healthcare more expensive.

William's Opinion
Do not make medicine more expensive. Another part of ACA that does not make any sense as most of the other parts do not.
Like (2)
IAmLion's Opinion
The gov't has enough money. Patients have a hard enough time paying medical bills, now! I vote YEA! It's a shame my state reps are selfish and don't care about "We the People!"
Like (2)
Tyler's Opinion
Why charge people more for the devices they need. A tax on medical devices is bad for the people who need them most. Think before you vote.
Like (1)

Argument opposed

The medical device tax barely has an effect on consumer prices. Plus, this bill offers no way to make up for the lost tax revenue that the government would miss out on if the tax is repealed.

SouthernGal's Opinion
This congress tries to do anything to weaken the ACA, while offering no credible alternatives.
Like (6)
burmatt19's Opinion
Revenue for the government. Right now, government needs to decrease spending and increase profits. This is a good source of revenue. Soldiers are willing to die for their country, citizens should be willing to pay for their country.
Like (3)
Larry's Opinion
Tax was agreed to upon passage of ACA! Repeal is but an underhanded attempt to repeal the Health Care law after multiple vote attempts failed in the House!
Like (2)

What is House Bill H.R. 160?

This bill would repeal the 2.3 percent tax on medical device manufacturers and importers, that was imposed as a way to fund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The medical device tax applies to things like pacemakers, or artificial joints used in operations like hip replacements. Given that a
pacemaker usually costs around $23,000 the cost of the the tax in that case would be about $529.


People purchasing medical devices, medical device manufacturers and suppliers, the federal government.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 160

The CBO estimates that this bill would reduce tax revenues, increasing federal deficits by about $24.4 billion over the 2015-2025 period, assuming it is enacted in the last quarter of fiscal year 2015. This amounts to an average increase in the deficit of about $2.2 billion per year.

More Information

In-Depth: An analysis by the Congressional Research Service found that based on the way the medical device industry works, the ACA's medical device tax does not end up cutting into medical device company products, but is rather “passed on to consumers in price.”

However, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities disagrees, pointing out that spending on taxable medical devices represents less than 1 percent of total personal health spending, so a small price increase would “have an almost imperceptible effect on health care costs and health insurance premiums.”

This bill was passed by the House Ways and Means Committee by a vote of 25 to 14, and has support from 281 cosponsors — which includes 40 Democrats. Speaking about his legislation after its passage through committee, sponsoring Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) said:

“Elected officials from all different political stripes agree that the medical device tax is a bad policy that kills jobs and harms patients. But the time for talk is over. We need to stand up and put a repeal of this burdensome, anti-innovation tax on the President’s desk.”

Some Democrats in the House of Representatives have criticized this proposal for failing to replace the lost tax revenue that the federal government would miss out on if the medical device tax were to be repealed. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) said: 

Money doesn’t grow on trees. Just about every member would say, ‘Lets go forward and undo the tax,’ if, as some of the members on this side have said, we come up with a pay-for.”

In 2012, President Obama said that he would veto any legislation repealing the medical device tax — but recently has said: 

Let me take a look comprehensively at the ideas that they present.


Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Bhakua )


Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2015

Official Title

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the excise tax on medical devices.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed June 18th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 280 Yea / 140 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedJanuary 6th, 2015

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