US medical device industry cheers 2-year delay of tax

Congress voted to reopen the government Monday, Jan. 22, after a weekend-long shutdown, with a short-term spending bill effective through Feb. 8. As a part of this deal, the nationwide medical device tax that took effect Jan. 1, 2018 will now be delayed for another two years.

“This suspension is good news for American patients and American innovation. Congress's action, just days before medical technology innovators were set to start cutting checks to the IRS, means funds will not be diverted from current investments in jobs, capital improvements and research into new treatments & cures," said AdvaMed CEO and President Scott Whitaker, in a prepared statement.

  1. first round of payments on the 2.3 percent tax would have been due to the U.S. Department of Treasury by Jan. 29. The tax will now be suspended at least until Jan. 1, 2020.

“MITA is pleased with the passage of the two-year suspension of the medical device tax, as it ensures that our companies are able to continue investing in innovative technologies to improve patient care,” said Joe Robinson, chairman of the MITA board of directors and senior vice president of health systems solutions at Philips Healthcare, in a statement. “We are encouraged by the bipartisan support in Congress and hope that policymakers will continue their work toward a long-term solution to the tax.”

The bill passed 81-18 in the Senate and 266-150 in the House and the two-year delay of the medical device tax will cost the federal government roughly $3.7 billion in revenue in 2018 and 2019.

"This delay is of paramount importance to the numerous companies in our state, both large and small, that produce critical medical technologies to help patients live longer, healthier lives. Now, instead of preparing to pay the IRS, these companies can continue to focus on innovation and investment," said BioUtah President and CEO Kelly Slone, in a statement. "Longer-term, the tax must be fully repealed to provide the certainty this industry needs to expand in Utah, deliver cutting edge breakthroughs and further advance health care worldwide.”