Drugmakers anticipate repeal of ACA's prescription drug tax: 6 things to know

Drugmakers and employers are hopeful that the GOP's plan to repeal the ACA will elimninate the Branded Prescription Drug Fee — an excise tax on brand name medications, reports The Hill.

Here are six things to know.

1. The prescription drug fee has received much less public scrutiny than other taxes — like the medical device tax or the "Cadillac" tax — since it was enacted through the ACA in 2010.

2. The tax is expected to bring in $27 billion over a 10-year period, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation's 2010 estimates.

3. Lori Robbins, managing director of the healthcare tax group in KPMG's Washington National Tax practice, said, "I would consider [the branded prescription drug tax] as middle of the road in terms of the appetite for getting rid of it." Other ACA provisions are "probably more unpopular than this particular fee because there are fees that are larger and perhaps even more difficult to administer."

4. The tax could have contributed to the rising cost of brand name medications, reports the conservative-leaning Tax Foundation.

5. Employers dislike the prescription drug fee because it "raises prescription costs for all payers in the healthcare system," said Mark Wilson, vice president and chief economist for the HR Policy Association.

6. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said in his new effort to repeal the ACA, he intends to focus on the same provisions Republicans attempted to repeal in a 2015 measure, including the prescription drug fee, reports The Hill.

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