House passes repeal of medical device tax

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The House approved a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s medical device tax, along with a bill that prohibits the IRS from rehiring any employee who was fired for misconduct.

Implementation of the 2.3 percent excise tax has repeatedly been delayed by Congress ever since the passage of the ACA in 2010, in part thanks to lobbying by medical device manufacturers. The Senate isn’t expected to take up the bill before the end of the year, according to The Wall Street Journal. However, the latest moratorium on the tax means it won’t take effect until at least January 2020.

Repeal of the tax was supported across party lines, with a vote Tuesday of 283 to 132. Joining those in favor of repealing the tax were 57 Democrats.

“Minnesota’s innovators can breathe easier since we’re one step closer to ending the medical device tax for good,” said Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., who sponsored the bill, in a statement Tuesday. “Today’s vote shows strong bipartisan support for lifting this burden on innovators in an industry so important to Minnesota. I’m more optimistic than ever we’ll be successful in giving these job creators the certainty and predictability they need to thrive.”

Another bill passed by the House on Tuesday, the Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act, would prohibit the IRS from rehiring any employee who was “involuntarily separated” from the agency for misconduct. The bill was passed unanimously by the House. It was sponsored by Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D. “South Dakota taxpayers shouldn’t have to worry that someone who has already been fired for mismanaging their hard-earned dollars will be hired again,” Noem said in a statement Tuesday. “We need to know there is integrity in the IRS, and when they rehire people who have already mishandled our most sensitive data, that integrity is broken. This bill puts commonsense oversight provisions on the agency handling our personal information and makes sure people who don’t respect taxpayer resources don’t work at the IRS. I am hopeful the Senate will move quickly to put these practical protections in place.”

The House is also expected to take up legislation this week allowing taxpayers to pay for gym memberships, fitness classes, nonprescription over-the-counter drugs and menstrual care products with their health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts, as well as roll over money from an FSA from one year to another.

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Finance, investment and tax-related legislation Medical devices Obamacare HSAs FSAs Tax rules Corporate taxes