The medical device tax, a 2.3% levy on all U.S. medtech sales, could push 146,000 jobs overseas, conservative economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth told a U.S. House of Representatives committee this week.
Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute think tank, told the House Energy & Commerce Committee that the medical device tax enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act would "shift production offshore," the Washington Examiner reported.
A 10% production shift would cost up to 64,000 jobs and a 30% shift would cost up to 146,000 jobs, Furchtgott-Roth told the panel, according to the newspaper.
Furchtgott-Roth and her husband, Harold Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist of the House Commerce Committee, authored a study of the tax commissioned in 2011 by AdvaMed, the medical device industry’s national lobby. That report predicted that the tax "could result in job losses in excess of 43,000 and employment compensation losses in excess of $3.5 billion."
"The medical device industry is a leader in innovation and in well-paying jobs," Diana Furchtgott-Roth said at the time, arguing that the government should make the U.S. a more "job-friendly environment" instead of imposing taxes that could push companies outside its borders.
"We are not in a strong economic position," Furchtgott-Roth said. "This is not the right time to impose a new tax."