The United States House of Representatives has approved a bipartisan legislation intended to permanently repeal medical device tax in the country.
The bill, called Protect Medical Innovation Act, was authored by Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen.
It has been passed by a 283-132 vote, and has to be further passed by the Senate before being signed into law by the President.
The medical device tax was implemented to pay for the Affordable Care Act and imposes a 2.3% excise tax on sales of medical equipment such as artificial hearts and X-ray machines.
The tax was suspended multiple times in the past and the recent suspension is set to expire on 1 January 2020.
If signed into law, the permanent repeal is expected to improve employment opportunities and research and development (R&D) for medical device innovation.
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Paulsen said: “Today’s vote shows strong bipartisan support for lifting this burden on innovators in an industry so important to Minnesota. I’m more optimistic than ever we’ll be successful in giving these job creators the certainty and predictability they need to thrive.”
According to the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), the tax affects the US economy, mitigates jobs and leads to a delay in the development of new medical technologies and treatments.
MITA represents manufacturers, innovators and developers of medical imaging equipment and radiopharmaceuticals.
Statistics from the US Department of Commerce are said to have revealed unemployment of 29,000 people across the medical technology sector when the tax was in effect between 2013 and 2015.
A separate Tax Foundation study showed a $34m decrease in R&D by medical device manufacturers, while another survey indicated that repeal of the tax could result in more employment and enhanced R&D.