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Possibility for Health Care Legislation Changes in 2016

Bipartisan issues could be on agenda, including elimination of proposed tax on medical devices

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Given the current political climate and issues of bipartisan concern, 2016 could see certain changes to health care legislation, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

Noting that political considerations could impact the possibility of President Obama allowing changes to the Affordable Care Act, the article discusses potential areas for health care legislative change, which have bipartisan support.

The proposed 2.3 percent tax on medical devices, which has been delayed by two years, is unpopular, with opposition also coming from some Democrats from states with large numbers of medical device companies; given the popularity of tax cuts in election years, this could face permanent elimination. In addition, the proposed tax on high-value health plans, which was also delayed for two years, is an issue of bipartisan concern and there may be movement toward permanent repeal. Given the increase in national debt, which has grown by $8 trillion since President Obama took office, a move toward reducing the debt is likely to affect the nation’s health care system, with suggested changes including raising the Medicare eligibility age and additional means testing for recipients.

“2016 could see little change in health care policy,” according to the article. “But a coalescence of interests on issues of bipartisan concern could allow some changes to make their way through the process.”

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