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CLSA Wire

What’s Next? Federal Legislative Outlook for the Rest of 2017
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August 17, 2017

With the first three-quarters of the year behind us, the remainder of 2017 will focus on raising the debt ceiling, preventing a government shutdown, and another top priority for the Trump Administration, tax reform. Here is a highlight of what we expect to see for the rest of 2017 as it pertains to the life sciences sector.

Healthcare

Despite the defeat of the “Repeal & Replace” efforts in the Senate last month, bipartisan support for the repeal of the medical device excise tax remains strong. At the end of last month (July 31), the “Problem Solvers Caucus,” a bipartisan coalition of 43 Republicans and Democrats, released a set of “realistic solutions” to stabilize the individual health insurance markets; one such proposal is the full repeal of the medical device tax.

The Problem Solvers Caucus includes several members of our state’s delegation, including Reps. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) and Scott Peters (D-San Diego). The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee is scheduled to hold hearings on a bipartisan Affordable Care Act (ACA) stabilization bill early September.

CLSA will continue to work with our partners at the national trade associations to identify other opportunities to repeal the medical device tax, and communicate with our California delegation to underscore our support for a swift and full repeal of the medical device tax.

Other legislative packages on the horizon include reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides insurance coverage for 8.4 million low-and moderate- income children. The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on CHIP reauthorization when Congress returns from August recess the week of Sept. 4.

Tax Reform

Both the Administration and Republican leadership have made it clear that reforming the tax code is the next priority legislative effort that Congress will be working on after the August recess. While there are no concrete policy proposals currently under consideration, we expect the controversial border adjustable tax (BAT) to be excluded. It remains to be seen if the medical device excise tax will be included in the package, but CLSA will continue to work with members of the California delegation to ensure awareness of the importance of achieving this priority.

Questions? Please contact Jenny Carey, CLSA’s Vice President of Federal Government Relations and Alliance Development (jcarey@califesciences.org).