The US House of Representatives approved a bill yesterday to repeal the tax on medical devices imposed by the Affordable Care Act, reports Politico. The vote passed 270 to 146. Politico notes that the bill is unlikely to come to a vote in the Democrat-controlled Senate and that it is likely to be vetoed should it get to the president's desk. Republicans say that the tax will stifle innovation and lead to job losses. "We have a chance and an opportunity to stop this tax dead in its tracks," says Representative Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), who sponsored the bill, to Politico.
The bill makes up for the loss of the $29 billion the tax would bring in by "requiring low- to middle-income individuals who buy subsidized coverage in the Affordable Care Act's health exchanges to pay back the full amount of any overpayments they may receive," Politico says.
Some Democrats voiced their dislike of the tax, but said they liked the pay-for even less. "This is not a tax that I like. As a matter of fact, I don't like this tax at all," Representative Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) said on the chamber floor, according to Mass Device, adding "I'd vote to repeal this provision today, yesterday or tomorrow if we were having a provision with a serious discussion about the pay-for. Instead, we're repealing a tax on an industry that had over $40 billion in profits in 2010, and we're paying for it on the backs of middle-class people."
The Sample's sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has more on the vote here.