On January 6, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced House Bill 160 (H.R. 160), also known as the Protect Medical Innovation Act. As introduced, H.R. 160 would repeal the 2.3% medical device excise tax, which was enacted in 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Act). As enacted, the Act imposes an excise tax of 2.3% to the sale of any taxable medical device. The term "taxable medical device" includes an "instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, contrivance, implant, in vitro reagent, or other similar or related article, including any component, part, or accessory, which is-
(1) recognized in the official National Formulary, or the United States Pharmacopeia, or any supplement to them,
(2) 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
(3) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals, and which does not achieve its 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 its primary intended purposes." The tax does not apply to eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, or "any other medical device determined by the Secretary [of the Treasury] to be of a type which is generally purchased by the general public at retail for individual use.’’
According to H.R. 160's primary sponsor, Congressman Erik Paulsen, the current tax "continues to stifle innovation, cost American jobs, and drive up health care costs despite bipartisan opposition in both houses of Congress. With over 250 cosponsors day one of the new session, it’s clear repealing this tax should be one of the priorities for the new Congress."