Device tax repeal would cost $30B over a decade, CBO says

As the U.S. House of Representatives gears up to vote on a bill that would repeal the 2.3% device industry tax this week, we want to inform you of two things:

1. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has figured out how much the tax repeal could cost. (It's pricey)
2. An observer says the tax, which is designed to help fund the health reform law, was actually part of a compromise with industry, which now opposes it as a job and innovation killer.

Losing the tax comes with a hefty price tag. The CBO believes its absence would slash nearly $30 billion from revenues over the next 10 years, and add to the already stratospheric U.S. budget deficit. With no legislative action, the medical device tax is scheduled to go into effect this January.

Even as the debate continues, at least one observer says the industry was at first grudgingly supportive of the tax that actually passed. Paul Van de Water, of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, told CBS News that the tax that passed was considered a compromise deal, produced as "industry was negotiating for a form of the tax which they thought was better."

And as the election year kicks in, some former supporters are now against the tax, as long as Republicans can find a way to replace the revenue with something else. Even more telling, Senate Democrats won't allow a vote on the measure anyway.

- here's the CBO posting
- read the CBS News story
- read MassDevice's take

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