Medical device tax: House Ways & Means considers arguments for repeal coverage of the medical device tax

Opponents of the medical device tax returned this week to the House Ways & Means Committee to decry the 2.3% levy imposed by the Affordable Care Act.

In opening remarks for today’s hearing, Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) called the device tax "particularly destructive," blaming the levy for workforce cuts and delays in new product development.

Boustany appeared to agree with previous comments made by medical device makers, putting repeal of the medical device tax in the context of a larger tax reform measure. He put other healthcare reform taxes in the same boat, with their best chance of repeal tied to comprehensive corporate tax reforms.

"Any tax measures will be considered, most likely, in the context of fundamental tax reform," Boustany told reporters after today’s hearing, Healthwatch reported.

Medical device representatives attending the hearing urged Congress to repeal the tax, warning that "is threatening America’s leadership position."

"If we lose America’s leadership position in medical technology innovation – and the great jobs and all the other benefits that come with it – we will never get it back, and countless communities will never look the same," Dan Moore, chairman of the Medical Device Manufacturers Assn. and president & CEO of Cyberonics, said in prepared remarks. "None of us want to have to explain to our children one day why they don’t have the opportunity to work in the same dynamic industry as their parents did, focused on improving the human condition."

"I urge you to support the repeal of the medical device tax which is harming innovation, job creation, and most importantly, patient care," Moore added.

Rep. Boustany decried many of the taxes contained in President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare reform act, among them insurance taxes and the employer mandate, but took time to emphasize the potential harm the medical device tax may pose to companies and the U.S.’s lead in global medical innovation.

"The new medical device tax is particularly destructive, as it targets one of the few remaining industries where America continues to lead the world in innovation," Boustany said in opening remarks. "This is an industry in which companies often go years without making a profit, hoping to survive long enough to reach profitability and introduce innovative life-saving medical products. But the new tax hits employers regardless of profitability, and has already resulted in layoffs and additional delays in new products reaching the market."

The House Ways & Means Committee has been favorable to medical device tax repeal efforts in the past. In May 2012 the committee swiftly passed a repeal bill in a 23-to-11 vote, sending the bill to a floor vote, but the decision wasn’t without conflict.

Committee Democrats at the time expressed concern about how to make up for the $30 billion the medtech levy is projected to raise over 10 years, but were outvoted by the majority, with 2 of their own joining Republicans in supporting repeal.

The issue of a so-called "pay-for" to make up for the lost revenue the medical device tax is projected to generate has been a sticking point for many Democrats, hampering repeal efforts in the Dem-led Senate.

A pair of medtech tax repeal bills introduced last month have 203 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, 25 of them Democrats, and 28 co-sponsors in the Senate, 4 of them Democrats.

Lobbying groups such as MDMA and AdvaMed have vowed to continue fighting to repeal the tax, which took effect at the start of the year.

AdvaMed said late last month that it’s 2013 agenda demonstrated its intention to "double down" on efforts to repeal the levy.

MDMA president & CEO Mark Leahey said in prepared comments today that those efforts are gaining traction among lawmakers.

"While each and every day is a challenge for medical technology innovators to balance the impact of the device tax with the goals of improving health care, bipartisan momentum continues to build for efforts to repeal this policy," Leahey said. "One job lost is one too many, and the thousands lost to date are devastating. As the real world consequences of the tax surface, more Members of Congress are taking notice."

RSS From Medical Design & Outsourcing

  • Athermal laser machining cuts bioabsorbable polymers and more
    A the recent MD&M East trade show in New York, Norman Noble, discussed the capability of athermal laser manufacturer. The company has developed the Noble S.T.E.A.L.T.H. (System To Enable Ablation Laser Technology Haz-free). The athermal laser machining process was developed to create precise features in any material, including bioabsorbable polymers, shape memory metals and other […]
  • Exciting possibilities for metallic glass in the medical device world
    Researchers are exploring the potential of metallic glass as a versatile, pliable material that is stronger than steel, with a bevy of possible medical device applications. Yale University engineers have discovered a unique method for designing metallic glass nanostructures across a wide range of chemicals, a technique that could have applications for everything from watch […]
  • Strong Precision Technologies’ medical divisions to unify under MedTorque brand
    Strong Precision Technologies announced on July 2, 2015, that its two medical divisions will now go to market under a single brand, MedTorque. The move reflects the increasing integration of the division formerly known as Inland Midwest with MedTorque, its sister division in Kenosha, WI. “We will continue providing our customers with the personalized level of service […]
  • Olympus offers next-day product replacement guarantee for medical devices
    Olympus, a medical and surgical procedures solutions company, announced that it is guaranteeing next-day replacements for surgical equipment at no additional charge. Olympus is the first surgical product manufacturer to offer this type of guarantee. The service became available to customers with an Olympus Full Service Agreement earlier this year. “Canceled procedures can be costly for healthcare facilities […]
  • More accurate prediction on prognosis in multiple myeloma from SkylineDx
    SkylineDx, a biotechnology company specializing in the development and commercialization of genetic tests, is launching its MMprofiler assay. This test enables clinicians to more accurately predict the prognosis of patients with multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer) than traditional methods. The MMprofiler measures the activity of 92 genes which are directly or indirectly related to the […]
  • Flint Mobile swaps card reader for camera, accept mobile payments anywhere
    Flint Mobile, the swipe-free mobile payments app, has significantly expanded its payment management and loyalty capabilities for small, service-centric businesses, like the ones run by on-the-go medical equipment professionals. The toggle-free mobile technology makes the process quite simple for both parties, as all transactions are conducted through the mobile device’s camera without the need of any external […]
  • Should scientists be allowed to genetically alter human embryos?
    Scientists have at their disposal, a way to explore the possible prevention of genetic diseases before birth. But should they? Currently, the most promising path forward involves editing the genes of human embryos, a procedure threaded with controversy. An article in “Chemical & Engineering News” (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society (ACS), parses […]
  • Tackling chronic sinusitis by addressing underlying factors
    The stuffy noses and sinus pressure of head colds are uncomfortable, but for most people, they go away within days. For those with chronic sinusitis, however, those symptoms and others drag on for weeks. Now scientists are onto a potential new therapy that could address one of the underlying factors associated with the condition. They […]
  • Implantable “artificial pancreas” could help diabetes patients control their blood sugar
    Living with Type 1 diabetes requires constant monitoring of blood sugar levels and injecting insulin daily. Now scientists are reporting in the American Chemical Society (ACS) journal, “Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research,” the development of an implantable “artificial pancreas” that continuously measures a person’s blood sugar or glucose level and can automatically release insulin as […]
  • Drug Deactivation program roll out to all facilities for safe disposal of unused prescription medications
    Verde Technologies announced that New Brighton-based Meridian Behavioral Health, the largest for-profit substance abuse and addiction treatment group in Minnesota, has become its most recent partner in the deactivation and safe disposal of prescription medications including methadone. Meridian is the first behavioral health group to roll out the Deterra Drug Deactivation System to all 17 […]
  • Lophius Biosciences introduces T-activated ImmunoScan Cocktail
    Lophius Biosciences announced the commercial launch of T-Track ImmunoScan and T-activated ImmunoScan Cocktail. Based on a proprietary and very specific cocktail of stimulants in combination with the Company’s T-activation technology, T-Track ImmunoScan and T-activated ImmunoScan Cocktail specifically target different cell types involved in both the adaptive and innate immune system. T-Track ImmunoScan and the T-activated […]

Leave a Reply