House majority leader Eric Cantor decries the medical device tax

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor

House majority leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) hasn’t forgotten about the the medical device tax, a measure he once called a "draconian" burden on the U.S. medtech industry.

In comments made during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute Cantor told an audience that the medical device tax and other healthcare reform measures make it more difficult for U.S. researchers to develop new therapies and prevents patients from accessing important healthcare technologies.

"President Obama’s health care law resulted in higher premiums and costs for families, and has made access to quality health care and innovation tougher," Cantor said. "If we want to reverse this trend, we should start by choosing to repeal the new taxes that are increasing the costs of health care and health insurance, like the medical device tax."

It’s not the 1st time Cantor has taken a stand on the medical device. He has voiced opposition to the medical device tax in the past and last year helped encourage fellow members of the House of Representatives to vote to repeal the levy. The House in June struck down the tax in a 242-173 vote, but the bill failed to make progress in the Democrat-led Senate.

Cantor was also active in last year’s efforts to wedge a medical device tax repeal note into the end-of-the-year fiscal cliff negotiations, which many in medtech viewed as the best window for repealing the tax before it was slated to take effect at the start of 2013.

Read more of MassDevice.com’s coverage of the medical device tax.

The medical device tax was ultimately left out of the fiscal cliff deal and the tax took effect as planned on January 1, but industry lobbying groups have vowed to continue fighting.

Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), an unrelenting opponent of the medical device tax,  plans to reintroduce legislation to repeal the 2.3% levy, which was created to help fund elements of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

"This is about keeping good, domestic manufacturing jobs here in the U.S., not shipping them overseas, and that’s a part of the larger tax conversation that needs to happen," Paulsen told reporters earlier this month. "So this year – late spring, early summer – we need action."

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