KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Medical Device Tax Gets Attention In Budget Fight

Opponents of the tax, which helps fund the health law, have proposed killing it to help defuse the current standoff, but there is not yet consensus on that effort.

The Wall Street Journal: Medical-Device Tax Repeal Gains New Life
Medical-device makers are finally gaining traction in their three-year effort to repeal a tax on their products that helps fund the Affordable Care Act. In recent weeks, House Republicans had made repeal of the 2.3% tax a proxy for their bigger fight against the health-care law championed by President Barack Obama, and device makers stepped up their lobbying efforts (Mundy and Walker, 10/9).

The Boston Globe: Shutdown Splits Foes Of Medical Device Tax
Members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation have campaigned against the new federal tax on medical devices, agreeing with industry executives that it hurts the Bay State economy by costing device manufacturers hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Some Republicans also are demanding repeal of the tax — but they are making it a condition of ending the government shutdown. And therein lies the problem. Despite having the ingredients for a bipartisan deal on a pet cause, Massachusetts lawmakers are not interested. To join ranks with Republicans would mean breaking ranks with President Obama, who has repeatedly opposed tying the funding of government to any other legislation (Jan, 10/10).

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