With Thursday’s news that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld virtually all of the Affordable Care Act, on a 5-4 vote, it also means that the medical device tax included in the law survives – for now.
The U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month voted to repeal the tax, but it appears that repeal has little chance of surviving in the U.S. Senate.
The excise tax on medical devices, scheduled to take effect in January, would collect 2.3 percent of the sale price on medical devices and raise an estimated $29 billion over the next 10 years. Critics of the tax, including many in the medical technology industry, say it will increase health costs, cut into company coffers and lead to a loss of jobs.
Minnesota is a world leader in medical technology. Medtronic, the world’s largest medical technology company, issued the following statement after the Supreme Court ruling became public:
“We began planning for implementation of the measures in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) long ago. We have been engaged in payment and delivery system reform changes that started before passage of the ACA in the private sector and that will continue. We remain committed to executing on our key strategies which will allow us to succeed in any environment.”
Stephen J. Ubl, president and CEO of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) also issued a statement:
“AdvaMed supported goals of health care reform consistent with our long-held principles.
“We have consistently opposed the $29 billion medical device tax because of its damaging effects on economic competitiveness, jobs and the research and development needed to find tomorrow’s treatments and cures. The House has already voted to repeal the device tax, and we are heartened by the number of senators who have said they oppose the tax.
“We will continue to work with policymakers on both sides of the aisle to achieve this goal.”