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Rep. Mia Love: repeal the medical device tax

This Thursday, May 25, 2017 photo shows equipment that administers chemotherapy drugs at the North Carolina Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill, N.C. A study that had patients use home computers to report problems like nausea and fatigue improved survival _ by nearly half a year, longer than many new cancer drugs do. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

SOUTH JORDAN — A Utah lawmaker is at the forefront of an effort to do away with a key provision of the Affordable Care Act: the medical device tax.

The Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, was approved in 2013, though its medical device tax was subject to a temporary moratorium starting in 2016. Now, a number of lawmakers are pushing to get rid of the tax permanently.

 

Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, is among those urging House leaders to get on board with the repeal push. However, the bill to repeal does have bipartisan support.

Democrats and Republicans who represent states where medical manufacturers have a large presence are adding their support for the bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minnesota. After Love spoke at Merit Medical Systems in South Jordan yesterday, her opponent, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, a Democrat, issued a statement saying he also supports a permanent repeal of the medical device tax.

The 2.3% tax was originally designed to fund expanded insurance coverage and was imposed on devices like MRIs and surgical equipment.  The tax was not imposed on items like eyeglasses, hearing aids or bandages. But it has been one part of the Affordable Care Act which was targeted for repeal along with the individual mandate.

In July, the House voted 283 to 132 to repeal the tax. The bill to do so now moves to the Senate.

There are concerns they won’t move fast enough for a vote.  Love says she doesn’t want the Senate to be complacent about a permanent repeal and hopes the vote comes before Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, leaves office.

Hatch has been a strong supporter of repealing the tax.