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Marketplace Morning Report
Health reform

A tax on medical devices that almost nobody likes

Mar 22, 2013
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You don’t often hear about a 79-to-20 vote in the U.S. Senate. But that’s exactly what happened last night. The chamber voted overwhelmingly to repeal a tax on medical devices which was designed to generate $30 billion over 10 years to help pay for the Affordable Care Act.

Medical device makers are complaining the tax hurts them more than the rest of the medical and insurance industry. While hospitals, drug and insurance companies will pay or give up revenue as part of the reforms, they also stand to benefit as new customers enter the system. But the medical device industry argues most of their customers are already insured or covered by Medicare.

The vote to repeal the tax was largely symbolic. But it does show how unpopular the measure is, with both Republicans and Democrats coming out against it.

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