Senators discuss bill exempting telemedicine and medical equipment from taxation

Sen. Tony Ada during session Monday. (PNC photo)

A bill to exempt medical equipment and telemedicine from business privilege and use taxes was moved to the floor during session Monday.

The bill was introduced on January 4th of this year by Senator Tony Ada.

It aims to exempt medical equipment and telemedicine technology from business privilege and use taxes.

The intention is to reduce the cost of ordering new equipment for medical practitioners.

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Costs would also be lowered for clients who need telemedicine services due to Guam’s lack of specialists.

Also, by reducing the need to travel off-island for treatment, money would continue to circulate through the economy because of local spending.

During session, Senator V. Anthony Ada has this to say about the results of Bill 7–36:

“It’s things like this that if we make available to people a life can be saved. Yes, I understand about the use tax and how it can affect income for government. But if we don’t get the equipment, there are lives that could be lost. We should have these medical saving technologies and equipment and have them available to our people.”

During the session, Sen. Mary Camacho Torres called for a recess to make a quick amendment to Bill 7–36.

Some concerns were also brought up by Speaker Terlaje about whether GovGuam can afford to forego this revenue stream that comes from the business privilege tax. Because of that, she urged caution and said the legislature should consider the numbers being brought forth.

She added that she is in full support of the bill and loves its intention but does not want to make these decisions blindly.