MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Conservative activist Grover Norquist counted the medical device tax as one of President Barack Obama’s top measures that will most hurt seniors.
The top-line 2.3% levy, set to take effect January 1, 2013, made the list over concerns that the burden of the tax will be reflected in higher costs for medical products that seniors rely on.
"These companies will surely build the cost of this new tax into the price of what they sell," Norquist, who is president of Americans for Tax Reform, wrote in an editorial for the Daily Caller. "Who buys medical devices? Who buys pacemakers, wheelchairs and other costly medical devices? Seniors do."
Indeed, most small medical device companies plan to deal with the added burden of the impending tax by passing the cost onto customers, an industry survey of 180 device industry executives reported last month.
Nearly 45% of participants in a Massachusetts survey released earlier this month said they plan to pass on the cost of the tax to their customers by raising prices.
Medical device industry lobby AdvaMed, which has been active in efforts to spike the med-tech tax, last month revealed plans to reframe the debate as one over tax reform rather than health care reform in efforts to get more Democratic support for repeal measures, which already have ample backing in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"We believe, candidly, that if we are successful in repositioning the device tax as a jobs and economic growth issue in the context of tax reform, that many more Democrats will view that issue in the same way and join us in the effort to repeal the tax going forward," AdvaMed president & CEO Stephen Ubl said.
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