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Senate Adopts Proposal that Exempts Hearing Aids from Device Fee

The Senate last night unveiled health reform legislation that includes most features of the original Senate Finance Committee’s (SFC) medical device tax proposal including an exemption for FDA Class I devices. This would effectively exclude hearing aids from the device tax. HIA and allied hearing health organizations representing hearing professionals, people with hearing loss, and parents of children with hearing loss had urged the Senate to adopt the SFC proposal.

The House has already adopted a 2.5% medical device tax proposal that would base exemptions on whether a device were sold at “retail” although the definition of “retail” is unclear. Hearing aids would almost certainly be taxed if the House proposal were adopted by Congress. HIA and its allies will continue to work with our House and Senate supporters to urge them to avoid any tax on hearing aids.

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