(Bloomberg) — The U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices, seeking again to remove a piece of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).
The repeal drew bipartisan support and passed on a 280-140 vote Thursday. That still may not be enough. President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the bill, and Senate support likely hinges on finding a way to offset the loss of $24.4 billion in revenue over a decade.
See also: Medicare bills head to House floor
“Instead of hurting this industry, we should be empowering this industry,” said Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., the lead sponsor of the bill. “Companies are spending money on compliance and accountants instead of on research and development.”
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The tax affects companies including Medtronic P.L.C. Boston Scientific Corp. and St. Jude Medical Inc. The industry has been lobbying for the tax’s repeal for years.
They’ve been aided by lawmakers across party lines who represent states with concentrations of device companies, including Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Massachusetts. That gives repeal of the device tax a greater chance in Congress than other attempts to pare back Obamacare.
The House vote is a virtual repeat of its June 2012 vote for a bill that didn’t move through the Senate, then controlled by Democrats.
No offset deal
Now Republicans run the Senate, but they still need Democratic votes to overcome procedural hurdles and potentially an Obama veto. So far, senators haven’t reached a deal on how they would offset the cost of the bill, which Democrats have insisted is necessary for their support.