MassMEDIC to Sen.-elect Brown: Put your money where your mouth was

January 22, 2010 by MassDevice staff

The Mass. Medical Device Industry Council asks Sen.-elect Scott Brown to continue his opposition to the medical device tax contained in proposed healthcare reform legislation.

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The Mass. Medical Device Industry Council is asking Sen.-elect Scott Brown to put his money where his mouth was during the campaign for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat on Capital Hill.

During his successful run against Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley, Brown visited Zoll Medical Corp.'s Chelmsford, Mass., headquarters, where he spoke about his opposition to a proposed tax on medical device makers to help pay for healthcare reform.

During the campaign stop at Zoll, the Republican then-candidate told MassDevice that he planned to vote against the healthcare reform bill if elected.

"I can stop the bill and bring it back to the drawing board," he said. "In the middle of the recession, to basically put a tax on a company like this — [Zoll] said outright that that one act alone would cut their profit — then you throw onto that the expiring tax cuts and the potential [carbon] cap-and-trade tax, they're going to have to either relocate, lay people off or increase their prices. There's no two ways about it."

Brown's election means Senate Democrats lose their 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority, giving him the power to live up to his vow. MassMEDIC sent the senator-elect a letter expressing the council members' hopes that he would do just that:

"As you begin your term in the U.S. Senate, we ask that you continue your strong opposition to a tax on the medical device industry as proposed in both versions of health care reform legislation now pending in Congress. Your remarks against the proposed industry tax at ZOLL Medical Corporation in Chelmsford last week were well received by the medical device community in Massachusetts and around the nation," the letter stated. "As Congress revises plans for health care reform legislation, we urge you to work for the exclusion of any tax on the medical device industry. Such a tax would lead to higher medical costs and halt plans medtech companies have for expansion of manufacturing and development operations."

Here's the full text of the letter, signed by MassMEDIC chairman Thomas Taylor, president of Roush Life Sciences, and MassMEDIC president Thomas Sommer:

January 21, 2010

The Honorable Scott Brown
U.S. Senator-elect
200 Reservoir Street
Needham, MA 02494

Dear Senator Brown: