The many baby boomers considering hip or knee replacements in the coming years are likely to have to pay more to get them. The question is, How much more? And could the problems stretch beyond a higher price tag?
Under the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration’s signature health-care-overhaul law, medical-device manufacturers will pay a 2.3% tax on sales of such products starting in 2013. That tax will affect everything from surgical tools to oxygen tanks to wheelchairs. It is one of several features of the law designed to raise money to cover the uninsured — it’s expected to raise an additional $20 billion by 2019.