Following the Obama administration's win last month to preserve the Affordable Care Act's federal subsidies, there may be a new issue at hand: Attempts to repeal the medical-device tax.
The tax, which helps fund the ACA, is deemed to be the top repeal target among Republicans, reports the National Journal. But repealing the tax would be costly: It would add $24 billion to the deficit over 10 years.
Republicans are toying with the idea of attaching alternative medical-device tax provisions to a must-pass bill to test the administration's willingness to change the legislation. They hope this would demonstrate to voters how they would possibly reshape the healthcare industry. Testing the White House, though, could cause a partial government shutdown.
However, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said recently that the administration would consider proposed changes to the ACA if they improve affordability, access, quality and the economy, adds the NJ. She added that the sought-after medical-device tax has had no negative impact on the medical-device industry.
Yet if Republicans plan to send Obama veto-bait legislation, as the Associated Press puts it, they must first agree on what to do.
With the 2016 presidential election right around the corner, campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination adds complications, as many Republican candidates in conservative areas need to remain conscientious of pleasing their core group of coters.
"Republicans also face thorny decisions about their proposals," the AP adds. "How far would the measure go? How much would it cost, and crucially, how would they pay for it?"