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New Bill Seeks to Repeal Medical Device Tax and Spur Dental Innovation

Whether or not Republicans succeed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, a bipartisan coalition has introduced legislation designed to ensure the unpopular 2.3% medical device tax that partially funds it will not be back.

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ANDREYPOPOV/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES PLUS
ANDREYPOPOV/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Whether or not Republicans succeed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, a bipartisan coalition has introduced legislation designed to ensure the unpopular 2.3% medical device tax that partially funds it will not be back. Along with 234 cosponsors from both parties, U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., introduced the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2017, which seeks to permanently repeal the excise tax on the sale of medical devices by manufacturers, producers and importers.

In December 2015, a two-year suspension of the tax was approved by the House and Senate with bipartisan support and signed by President Barack Obama. The hiatus was cheered by the dental manufacturing industry, which has argued the tax unfairly targets dentists, who have seen few new patients as a result of the Affordable Care Act. The American Dental Association also worked to repeal the tax, which it says results in higher costs for dentists and patients.

Advocacy groups praised the new effort to permanently remove the tax. “For medical technology innovators to develop the new cures and therapies of tomorrow, we need smart policies in place today,” notes Paul LaViolette, executive chairman of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association. “Repealing the medical device tax would be a major boost in accomplishing this mission.”

From Decisions in Dentistry. February 2017;3(2):11.

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