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BREAKING NEWS: Senate Negotiators Appear Closer to a Deal, with Two-Year Delay of Medical Device Tax in Play

October 14, 2013
by Mark Hagland
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The Washington Post reports a possible breakthrough involving the medical device tax under the ACA
As the clock continued ticking down to a possible federal government default on the U.S. debt, leaders in the Senate were engaged on Monday in intensive behind-the-scene negotiations that might possibly lead to a vote to simultaneously raise the country's debt ceiling for some period of time and reopen the federal government, which has been shut down since Oct. 1. One element of the deal that seemed to be emerging on Monday afternoon was reported to be a two-year delay in the implementation of the medical device tax, which is one of the sources for the financing of some elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition, according to a report in the Washington Post filed by Jonathan Weisman and Michael D. Shear, a final deal may include "some tightening of qualifications for subsidized insurance purchases."
 
At the same time, Weisman and Shear reported, "House Republicans worked on a separate track to quickly pass a six-week extension of the government's statutory brorrowing authority. But Republican leaders," the reporters said, "were pushing significant changes to the healthcare law, possibly language denying federal subsidies to lawmakers, White House officials and staff members who must buy their health insurance on the Affordable Care Act's new exchanges."
 
As the Post's report Monday afternoon noted, "President Obama on Monday warned lawmakers that the country stood 'a good chance of defaulting,' with devastating effects for the economy, if lawmakers were not willing to quickly set aside their differences in the coming hours and days."
 
Healthcare Informatics will continue to keep readers updated on developments in this rapidly developing situation.
 
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