This week the House of Representatives unveiled an omnibus appropriations bill to fund the government through the end of FY 2016. The omnibus bill and the tax extenders package that were introduced represent the final business of the year before Congress goes into recess until January 5.
In the tax extenders package, Republicans succeeded in suspending the Medical Device Tax for two years. The AAO, other dental organizations and dental suppliers have advocated against the tax, which may be applicable to products used in orthodontic practices.
Additional items from the appropriations bill that may be of interest to orthodontists include:
  • Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill includes no additional  funding for the ACA.
  •  Cadillac Tax. The Appropriations Act would also impose a two-year delay of the excise tax on high-cost employer sponsored health coverage, also known as the Cadillac tax. Under this Act, the Cadillac tax would not go into effect until 2019.
  • State-Based Exchanges. With the increasing number of State-Based Exchanges failing due to lack of revenue, the agreement includes report language directing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to ensure that discretionary funds are not used to pay for operational costs for these exchanges.
What’s Next
The House is expected to take up the tax extenders bill on Thursday and move to the omnibus appropriations bill on Friday. The Senate is expected to follow suit to pass the bills once the House has completed its work.