Last week the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate teamed together to delay both the Medical Device Tax – a 2.3% tax on certain medical devices – and the Cadillac Tax, a tax on high-end health insurance plans. President Obama signed the bipartisan legislation, stalling the implementation of both taxes by two years.
The delay of the taxes comes with many other sleep medicine-related victories in a jam-packed $1.1 trillion dollar spending bill. The bill also provides $2 billion in additional research funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and reauthorizes a pathway for cost-free sleep apnea care for 9/11 first responders.
However, some of the issues related to the Obamacare taxes remain unresolved. It was estimated that the two taxes would raise more than $100 billion within the first five years of implementation. Therefore, Congress must again band together to create sustainable solutions to pay for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While uncertainty continues to loom in today’s dynamic health care debate, one thing is for certain: Congress must take action with American physicians and their patients in mind.
Sleep medicine has momentum. As Congress breaks for the holidays, sleep medicine professionals must keep the pressure on Congress to help Americans obtain healthy sleep. How can you help this holiday season? While enjoying some time away, consider making a donation to the AASM PAC before the New Year and discover the AASM PAC strategy on the Evolve Sleep website.