Drive to Repeal Medical Device Tax No Slam Dunk in Congress

It flew through the Republican-run House in 2012, and a year later 79 of the Democratic-led Senate’s 100 members embraced it. With Republicans now controlling both chambers of Congress, the chances for repealing the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices are better than ever.

Yet abolishing the tax won’t be easy, even though Republicans rank it a top priority and are backed by Democrats from states that rely on the industry for jobs.

The upcoming battle underscores the complex politics surrounding President Barack Obama’s health care law. Another round of that fight looms next week, when the House will likely vote to repeal the entire 2010 law.

The device tax repeal faces a possible Obama veto. It is also opposed by many Democrats, including some who backed eliminating the tax in 2013 but say they want to replace any lost revenue.