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NVCA says change or repeal of device tax is likely

The association says health reform's independent payment advisory board is also vulnerable to appeal
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The medical device industry tax and the Independent Payment Advisory Board--both major elements of the Affordable Care Act--stand a good shot at repeal in the coming months, according to a National Venture Capital Association analysis.

MedCity News highlights the post-election report's focus on both provisions, which the NVCA suggests are on potentially shaky ground, due to bipartisan opposition. (It remains to be seen if that will bear out in the coming weeks)

The 2.3% medical device tax is slated to kick in Jan. 1, of course, and industry trade group AdvaMed has renewed a call to repeal the tax as a killer of both jobs and innovation. AdvaMed recently told FierceMedicalDevices that the group will push for the tax's repeal before Jan. 1, but is resigned to the notion that a successful fight could take longer. The NVCA saves particular opposition for the device tax, which it notes affects the sale of any taxable medical device whether or not the company making the device is profitable.

But we've heard little about the Independent Payment Advisory Board. As MedCity News notes, the 15-member panel will start recommending quality improvements to Medicare beginning in 2014. Proposed cuts would also be placed on the table assuming spending grows too fast. The NVCA is coming out in strong opposition to the board's mission as something that, like the tax, could also hurt medical innovation. It could also gain more power, according to the story, because President Obama reportedly wants the board to gain power to sequester funds if Congress overrules its decisions.

Regarding the device tax, the NVCA is similar to AdvaMed about its hopes for a repeal before Jan. 1, that bipartisan opposition makes it possible but there are hurtles to meet before that can happen. One option: The NVC predicts there might be some sort of addendum for small company relief in lieu of outright repeal.

- read the MedCity News story

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