The Encompassing Tax on Medical Devices, 2.9 Percent

By March 19, 2010Health Care, Taxation

Subtitle E, Section 1405 in the House substitute amendment to the health care legislation is “Excise tax on medical device manufacturers”

The section states:

(a) IN GENERAL.-There is hereby imposed on the
sale of any taxable medical device by the manufacturer,
producer, or importer a tax equal to 2.9 percent of the
price for which so sold. 

There are exemptions for eyeglasses, contact lens, hearing aids and items purchased by the general public at retail stores, things like tongue depressors. Even with the exemptions, there’s much covered under the bill’s definiion of “taxable medical device,” which “means any device (as defined in section 201(h) of the Federal Food, Drug, and CosmeticAct) intended for humans.”

From the FDA, “Is The Product a Medical Device?”

Medical Device Definition

Medical devices range from simple tongue depressors and bedpans [presumably exempt as noted above] to complex programmable pacemakers with micro-chip technology and laser surgical devices. In addition, medical devices include in vitro diagnostic products, such as general purpose lab equipment, reagents, and test kits, which may include monoclonal antibody technology. Certain electronic radiation emitting products3 with medical application and claims meet the definition of medical device. Examples include diagnostic ultrasound products, x-ray machines and medical lasers. If a product is labeled, promoted or used in a manner that meets the following definition in section 201(h) of the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic (FD&C) Act it will be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)4 as a medical device and is subject to premarketing and postmarketing regulatory controls. A device is:

  • “an instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, contrivance, implant, in vitro reagent, or other similar or related article, including a component part, or accessory which is:

    • recognized in the official National Formulary, or the United States Pharmacopoeia, or any supplement to them,
    • intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, in man or other animals, or
  • intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals, and which does not achieve any of it’s primary intended purposes through chemical action within or on the body of man or other animals and which is not dependent upon being metabolized for the achievement of any of its primary intended purposes.
  •  Funny how health care “cost controls” so easily morph into tax increases.

    Join the discussion One Comment

    • Justin says:

      So this is why people in Canada were coming here or waiting months for xrays or other diagnostic test. Awesome! I can’t wait until I’m sick so I can wait months because of the lack of equipment.

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