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Health care costs will rise unless Congress blocks harmful tax

1 40 163
20.03.2019

The House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The American people – and just about all our elected officials – frequently and justifiably complain about the high cost of health care. But unless Congress acts, a tax increase on medical devices will take effect Jan. 1 and needlessly raise those costs even higher.

The 2.3 percent tax on medical devices was signed into law by President Obama and took effect in 2013. Fortunately, Congress passed legislation in 2015 and again in 2017 to temporarily suspend the tax. However, without further congressional action the tax will kick back in at the beginning of 2020.

Because the tax is only 2.3 percent it may sound like an insignificant amount. It’s not. Some medical devices are very expensive – for example, an MRI machine can cost up to $3 million. The 2.3 percent tax on that would amount to $69,000 – a cost that has to be........

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