The measure, which would repeal a nearly $30 billion excise tax on medical device manufacturers, would also repeal a health law provision that prohibits the use of funds from flexible health spending accounts and other health reimbursement arrangements to buy over-the-counter drugs without a prescription. The White House has threatened to veto the legislation.
Modern Healthcare: House Slated To Vote On Device Tax; Veto Threatened
In spite of a veto threat from the White House, House members will vote Thursday on a bill to repeal a provision in the 2010 health care law that requires a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices starting next year. The legislation from Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) to overturn the nearly $30 billion excise tax on medical device manufacturers also includes a provision from Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) to repeal a measure in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that prohibits using funds from flexible health spending accounts, health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements or Archer medical savings accounts to buy over-the-counter drugs without a prescription (Zigmond, 6/6).
CQ HealthBeat: Repeal Of Medical Device Tax Hits House Floor In A Three-Measure Package
The House is expected to take up legislation Thursday that combines a repeal of the health care law's upcoming medical device tax with two other health bills approved by the Ways and Means Committee last week. All three GOP-backed measures won some Democratic support when the panel endorsed them May 31. But while House Republicans' decision to offset the cost by removing limits on reclaiming overpayments of subsidies under the 2010 overhaul may erode some Democratic votes, others have indicated they still plan to support the expanded measure (Attias, 6/6).
MinnPost: How Republicans Plan To Pay For Paulsen's Medical Device Tax Bill
Rep. Erik Paulsen's bill repealing a medical device tax makes its final stop before a potential floor vote on Wednesday, when the House Rules Committee will look at a beefed-up version of the bill. The bill's foundation is Paulsen's chief legislative priority, a provision repealing a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device sales instituted as part of the Affordable Care Act and set to take effect next year. The bill contains two other ACA-related measures supported by House Republicans, and a crucial provision meant to pay for the legislation's $37 billion price tag: a reduction in federal health insurance subsidies at the heart of the 2010 health care overhaul (Henry, 6/6).
The Associated Press: GOP Ignoring Veto Threat On Medical Tax Repeal
Shrugging off a veto threat, Republicans are ready to push legislation through the House repealing a tax on the producers of many medical devices sold in the United States. GOP leaders scheduled a vote for Thursday, and with more than half the House sponsoring the measure its passage was ensured. Equally certain is its death in the Senate, where top Democrats say they won't even bring it up (Fram, 6/7).
Minnesota Public Radio: White House Threatens To Veto Paulsen's Medical Device Tax Bill
The Obama Administration has threatened to veto legislation put forward by Minnesota Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen that would overturn a tax on medical devices that was part of the 2010 health care overhaul. The House is set to vote as early as Thursday on Paulsen's bill, which has 240 cosponsors from both parties. Paulsen has made the bill one of his biggest priorities in Congress, calling it "a tax on innovation" that will hurt Minnesota's medical device industry. … As reported by MPR News earlier this week, Paulsen's bill has put some Minnesota Democrats in a political bind between supporting a local industry and chipping away at a health care law that almost all of them supported. On Wednesday, DFL U.S. Rep. Tim Walz announced that he would support a repeal of the tax (Neely, 6/6).
The Hill: Obama Administration Issues Veto Threat For GOP Health Care Bill
The White House on Wednesday issued a veto threat for a health care bill from House Republicans that will come to the floor this week. Republicans argue that H.R. 436 -- to repeal the health care reform law's medical device excise tax, among other purposes -- would help lower health care costs. But in its veto threat, the White House said the measure "would fund tax breaks for industry by raising taxes on middle-class and low-income families" and increase the number of uninsured Americans (Viebeck, 6/6).
In other Capitol Hill news --
CQ HealthBeat: Panel Backs GOP Spending Bill Undercutting Health Care, Dodd-Frank Laws
A House Appropriations panel on Wednesday advanced GOP-backed legislation that would significantly undercut the Obama administration's efforts to implement the 2010 health care and financial regulatory overhaul laws, two of the president's signature legislative achievements. Overall, the draft fiscal 2013 measure would provide $21.2 billion in discretionary spending for the Treasury Department and various regulatory agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Small Business Administration (SBA), General Services Administration (GSA), as well as the judiciary and the District of Columbia (Holden, 6/6).
Politico: Secret Talks Under Way About 'Fiscal Cliff'
The uptick in back-channel talks reflects a growing recognition that the differences over the intractable tax, deficit and entitlement issues must be narrowed ahead of November if there's any chance to meet a critical Jan. 1 deadline -- the so-called fiscal cliff -- when $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts take effect and Bush-era tax cuts expire on individual tax rates, capital gains and dividends. … Above all else, they say, these summer talks must be done secretly and never be made public for fear that any new proposals could get swept into the highly toxic partisan atmosphere ahead of a historic presidential election. The secret talks might allow Democrats to entertain deeper cuts to entitlements than they usually would, and Republicans could talk more candidly about increasing tax revenues (Raju, 6/6).
The Washington Post: House Panel Reviews VA Pharmaceutical Contracting Reforms
Reforms put in place by the Department of Veterans Affairs to prevent the routine purchase of pharmaceuticals in violation of federal contracting laws have improved the VA procurement system but failed to eliminate improper practices, according to congressional testimony Wednesday (Vogel, 6/7).