Health care di­vide leaves tax on path to re­in­state­ment

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION -

BOS­TON | The in­dus­try that makes med­i­cal de­vices from ar­ti­fi­cial hips to minia­ture pumps for IV drips is look­ing for a fall­back plan to re­peal a widely re­viled sales tax that al­most met its end in GOP health care leg­is­la­tion.

The 2.3 per­cent ex­cise tax has been the sub­ject of fe­ro­cious lob­by­ing by man­u­fac­tur­ers seek­ing its per­ma­nent death.

Yet for now it is on track to be re­in­stated on Jan. 1 after a two-year hia­tus, leav­ing in­dus­try lead­ers wor­ried it will hurt em­ploy­ment and sti­fle de­vel­op­ment of in­no­va­tive prod­ucts.

In­dus­try trade groups say med­i­cal de­vice com­pa­nies shed 29,000 jobs from 2013-2015 when the tax was in ef­fect, but 70 per­cent have added jobs since the sus­pen­sion of the tax.

The tax is one of sev­eral de­signed to raise money to pay for ex­panded cov­er­age op­tions un­der the Af­ford­able Care Act.

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