Repealing Healthcare Taxes a Prudent Action by Congress; Senate Should Finalize Action That Will Benefit Patients, Consumers

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives has performed a valuable service for patients and healthcare consumers by including the repeal of medical device and health insurance taxes in a bill establishing federal spending for the remainder of the fiscal year, said the president of the Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC), who urged the Senate to maintain the repeal measures in its version of the appropriations package.

The omnibus spending bill passed by the House on December 17 included permanent repeal of the medical device tax and health insurance tax. The Healthcare Leadership Council, a coalition of chief executives from all health sectors, has advocated elimination of these taxes.

“We know that the medical device tax has led to a significant cost in both jobs and innovation, and it is has been particularly harmful to small and start-up companies because it taxed sales and not simply profits,” said HLC president Mary R. Grealy. “And the health insurance tax has resulted in higher premiums, taking money from the pockets of working families. Lawmakers have acted wisely in moving to do away with these damaging, counterproductive taxes.”

She noted that some analysts have said the resources generated by elimination of the health insurance tax could enable Medicare Advantage plans to offer enhanced health benefits to their enrollees.