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Device Tax Considered

The US Congress is contemplating a rollback of the medical devices tax that is part of the Affordable Care Act, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The 2.3 percent tax is levied on manufacturers or importers of medical devices and in the next 10 years, is expected to yield some $30 billion to help pay for the expanded insurance coverage provided by the ACA. Proponents of the tax argue that the health insurance reform law has provided device companies with more potential customers.

But critics say that elimination of the tax would make it cheaper to develop medical devices, the Journal adds.

The House of Representatives has voted to repeal the tax in a 280 to 140 vote with 46 Democrats joining Republicans. The Senate has also voted to eliminate the tax in what the Journal notes was a largely symbolic 79 to 20 vote, as it was an amendment to a bill that had no chance of becoming a law.

Still, lawmakers think they may soon have enough votes to override a potential presidential veto or insist it be eliminated, the Journal reports.