Medical Device Tax Moratorium To Expire At The End Of 2019

May 2019

HIDA Government Affairs Update

By Linda Rouse O'Neill
Vice President, Government Affairs, HIDA

If you are a distributor or a manufacturer rep, you are likely aware of longstanding disputes over the medical device tax. This 2.3 percent excise tax created through the Affordable Care Act has been subject to a series of moratoriums, the most recent of which expires at the end of this year. Both chambers of Congress are currently considering legislation to permanently repeal this tax. While there is a lot of bipartisan support for repeal, the political climate is tough and the industry must continue to advocate.

Should the medical device tax go into full effect, it will have a ripple effect across the medical-surgical supply chain. It will increase costs for manufacturers, distributors, providers, and patients. Most importantly, it works against efforts to hold down the rising cost of healthcare in America, and new research suggests it hampers industry investments in new medical technology.

This tax applies to most devices regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. For these reasons, HIDA members have consistently opposed this measure. If you work in the medical supply chain in any capacity, we encourage you to contact your senators and representatives and ask them to permanently repeal this tax.

The device tax will be one of the key issues HIDA members address when they come to the nation’s capital for the upcoming Washington Summit (Washington DC, June 5-7). Other key issues attendees will discuss with lawmakers this year include:

Tariffs: After testimony by HIDA and over 175 letters from its members, the United States Trade Representative removed over 120 healthcare products from the list of Chinese imports that would be subject to tariffs. During their time in Washington, HIDA members will encourage lawmakers to protect medical products from needless trade interference, and will educate Congress on how medical imports support both emergency preparedness and affordable healthcare.

Competitive Bidding: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Competitive Bidding Program has had a significant impact on HIDA members who supply durable medical equipment to nursing homes and home care settings. While HIDA commends CMS for recent steps to improve this program, more work needs to be done.

Emergency preparedness: HIDA members will discuss the key role the private sector can play in facilitating an effective response to natural disasters. With a range of severe weather events and infectious disease outbreaks taking place across the nation, Summit attendees will educate Congress on how vital laws and regulation provide federal agencies with access to the insight and expertise of the healthcare supply chain.

To learn more about HIDA’s outreach, or for tips on how you can get involved on key healthcare issues, please email me: