With Team Trump rewriting the rulebook on a daily basis, political life in our Nation’s Capital is anything but normal! Given that the indoor tanning industry desperately wants to see a change, we are counting on this new rulebook to play to our advantage.
The first positive sign has been the lack of activity at the FDA; as of the January 1, there was still no signal that the two proposed rules (amendments to the Performance Standard for sunlamp products and the restricted device designation/under-18 ban) would be promulgated before Mr. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. This was supported by the fact that at this writing, there was no indication that the rules had gone to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval. OMB review is usually the last critical step before the rules are finalized. While nothing is certain, this is encouraging.
For those who use Google Alerts to track news, you probably noticed the heightened negative press regarding indoor tanning, melanoma and calls for age restrictions during December. It seems clear to me that all of the bad press was generated by our detractors in an effort to put last-minute pressure on the FDA to issue the rules and ban teen tanning before Trump took office. The fact that the FDA did not act is another positive sign.
With regard to repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the direction of health policy at the FDA, there is more good news coming in with the Trump Administration. The next Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), is a staunch conservative and identifies as a member of the Tea Party caucus. As Member of Congress, Rep. Price was a vocal critic of the ACA and will be a willing leader in carrying out the Trump campaign’s promise to repeal the law.
Although the FDA is under the Department of Agriculture, HHS sets the tone for healthcare policy throughout the government. Having a HHS Secretary with Rep. Price’s approach to government will surely shepherd in a
As for repeal of the Tan Tax, the only hurdle may be the timing. There were news reports published in December citing unnamed sources which indicated that Congressional Republicans were considering holding off on repealing some of ObamaCare’s taxes. This doesn’t mean the Tan Tax won’t be repealed, only that the Congress may tackle the ACA taxes as a part of a larger tax reform bill later in the year.
Stay tuned … I am cautiously optimistic and look forward to the next couple of months.
is the Executive Director of the Indoor Tanning Association.
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