Warren, Markey debut legislation to end ACA’s medical device tax

Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, both Democrats from Massachusetts, unveiled legislation that would eliminate the excise tax on medical devices that is part of the Affordable Care Act.

The 2.3% tax was added into the ACA as a funding mechanism on devices ranging from surgical tools to pacemakers to expand access to health insurance without adding to the deficit. However, opponents of the tax countered that it has put an unfair burden on small businesses and device innovation.

Dubbed the "No Taxation on Device Innovation Act," Warren and Markey said the bill would offset the cost of repeal by ending a projected $29 billion in tax breaks over the next decade for oil companies, MassLive reported. The device tax had been suspended by Congress for two years, but was reinstated on Jan. 1.

"The No Taxation on Device Innovation Act would ensure that working families aren't burdened with increased costs associated with this tax, while continuing to invest in a medical device industry that is key to the Commonwealth's culture of innovation," Markey said in a statement. 

He added that repealing that tax would be an investment in "21st Century innovation."

Warren said it was time "to repeal the medical device tax with an appropriate offset so Massachusetts device companies can continue to innovate and save lives."

There are more than 6,500 medical device companies in the U.S. that provide about 2 million jobs nationally with about 82,000 of those jobs in Massachusetts, Markey’s office said.