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New budget deal includes device tax repeal language

by Loren Bonner, DOTmed News Online Editor | December 12, 2013
The budget deal that Democrats and Republicans negotiated on Tuesday night — ahead of the Dec. 13 deadline — includes language that calls for a repeal of the medical device tax, as well as an agreement that allows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to access the full amount of user fees paid by industry for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

Although the proposed deal may feel like a win for device makers, hospitals are not so happy. It leaves in place sequestration cuts to Medicare and extends them for two years.

Hospitals are being asked to accept cuts of an additional $9 billion.

"While we support some aspects of the compromise, as well as pieces of the SGR fix, we strongly believe hospitals are being asked to pay an unfair share of the bill, which should be spread more equitably," said Blair Childs, senior vice president of public affairs at Premier, Inc., a health care alliance of roughly three thousand hospitals.

If approved by Congress, the deal would likely prevent a government shutdown in mid-January.

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