Medical device manufacturers have long been seeking an end to a2.3 percent tax levied on their products that is included inthe Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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And now the multi-billion dollar industry is hoping it can getthat repeal, which has garnered support from both sides of theaisle, through Congress before the end of the year.

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Recently, most of the debate over PPACA taxes has focused on the"Cadillac Tax," a provision of the law that levies a 40-percentexcise tax on health plans that cost more than $10,200 forindividuals or $27,500 for families.

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The debate over the Cadillac Tax gives medical manufacturers theperfect opening to advocate for repeal of their tax.

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First, they can seize on anti-tax sentiment, particularly amongRepublicans or Democrats eager to be seen as tax-cutters orfacing pressure from medicalmanufacturers in their districts.

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But conversely, device manufacturers have been seizing onarguments made against repeal of the Cadillac Tax.

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While many economists have argued that the Cadillac Tax is keyto slowing the growth of health care costs, medical devicemanufacturers are happy to point to studies that show that newdevices are not major drivers of rising health costs.

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A study conducted by two former high-level health officials andbacked by the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), anindustry group, found that spending on medical devices was lessthan 6 percent of total national health spending.

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And although spending on medical devices has risen at roughlythe same rate as overall health spending (6 percent annually) since1992, the price of medical devices has increased on average lessthan 1 percent annually since 1989.

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That is compared to 4.5 percent annual increases for the medicalconsumer price index and 2.7 percent for the overall consumer priceindex.

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“Overall medical technology spending has remained consistentlylow,” Stephen Ubl, president of AdvaMed.

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In addition, repealing the device tax is only estimated todeprive the federal government of $30 billion over 10 years ––hardly a budget-buster. And some have suggested it will raise evenless money.

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The House of Representatives easily passed a bill repealing thetax earlier this year, in spite of a veto threat from PresidentObama. The Senate, despite avowed support from GOP leadership, hasstill not taken up the bill.

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To get through the upper chamber, it would need 3/5 support tobreak a filibuster and 2/3 support to override a veto. While thereappears to be enough Democrats supportive of repeal to break afilibuster, it is far from clear that a vetooverride is feasible.

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