Device makers respond to the State of the Union with renewed calls for device tax repeal

February 13, 2013 by Arezu Sarvestani

Medical device respond to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, saying the call for strengthening the economy is incompatible with the medical device tax contained in the President's healthcare reform law.

President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech mentioned jobs, the economy and U.S. small businesses in no short order, and medical device makers seized on the opportunity renew calls for repeal of the medical device tax that took effect at the start of the year.

The Medical Device Manufacturers Assn. issued a press release today responding to the State of the Union address, saying that the industry is "prepared to answer the challenge" to help strengthen the U.S. economy, but that the 2.3% tax imposed on medical device sales is in the way.

"MDMA agrees with the President that we need to grow our economy by expanding our manufacturing base while creating more middle class jobs," MDMA president & CEO Mark Leahey said in prepared remarks. "Unfortunately, a huge barrier stands in their way in the form of a medical device tax that is harming job creation and eroding the quality of care for patients."

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Pres. Obama last night expressed interest in tax code reforms that would help small businesses put more of their money toward "expanding and hiring" rather than dealing with complicated forms, as well as incentives for companies that companies that keep manufacturing in the U.S.