The outcome of the U.S.
presidential election could mean changes to the medical
device tax, political insiders told attendees of a medical
technology conference .
A Donald Trump administration would repeal the
device tax, former Republican HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson said Oct. 19.
Aneesh Chopra, the former U.S. chief technology officer for President Barack Obama, said Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton officially has no comment on repealing the device tax. However, Clinton has a long history of negotiating with Congress to move her priorities forward, and everything will be considered while she and her transition team determine how to pass health-care legislation in 2017 and beyond, Chopra said.
The 2.3 percent
tax, which has caused great consternation for the device industry since it was
passed as part of the Affordable Care Act, was suspended for 2016 and 2017 and
is set to go back into effect Jan. 1, 2018. Many in the device industry
complain that the tax is confusing, negatively affects medical technology
companies and needs to be fully repealed.
Chopra and Thompson spoke on what the outcome of the Nov. 8
presidential election will mean for the device industry during the
Advanced Medical Technology Association’s 2016 conference
in Minneapolis. Thompson, who stressed he wants Trump, the Republican
nominee, to win, said he has no formal relationship with the Trump
campaign. Chopra said he was at the conference specifically representing the
Clinton campaign. Bloomberg BNA contacted the Trump campaign via e-mail Oct. 19
to seek his position on the device tax but didn’t receive a response.
A Clinton victory with Democrats in control of the Senate
and Republicans controlling the House is a “more than likely” outcome, Thompson
said. Under this scenario, Congress and a Clinton administration would likely
the tax into 2018 and beyond. However, should Trump win, Republicans will
retain full control of Congress, Thompson told the conference. A full repeal of
the device tax is more likely under this scenario.
Regardless of who wins the presidency and controls the House and Senate, the medical technology industry is likely to step up pressure on the next administration and lawmakers to repeal the device tax in 2017, health-care financial analyst Brian Rye told me Oct. 19. Rye is senior government analyst for health care at Bloomberg Intelligence in Washington.
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