Insurance and device taxes back on the chopping block

Image result for medical device tax

It’s time once again for the insurance and medical device industries to ramp up their lobbying against the ACA’s taxes on their products. Congress has frozen both taxes, but both are set to kick in again next year.

  • A trio of Senate Democrats — Heidi Heitkamp, Jeanne Shaheen and Joe Donnelly — introduced a bill last week to delay the insurance tax for another two years. House Republicans are also hoping to find some bipartisan support for a similar measure, though they also still need to finalize the policy details.
  • Opposition to the device tax is also bipartisan, and heating up. More than 175 House members, including 43 Republicans, signed on to a letter yesterday urging Speaker Paul Ryan to bring up a bill fully repealing the device tax.

Reality check: Both industries, but especially insurers, are more likely to win another delay than see their taxes repealed.

And though there will be public pushes here and there for stand-alone bills, or for inclusion in tax reform, getting onto Congress’ massive end-of-year package is their best bet. Measures to delay the insurance or device taxes could be added to Alexander-Murray, if it comes up, as a way to win more Republican votes without losing Democrats.

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