Medical device tax is here to stay, says AdvaMed's James Mazzo

December 12, 2012 by Arezu Sarvestani

Efforts to repeal the medical device tax aren't in vain, but they aren't going to be successful in bringing down the levy, Abbott Medical Optics president and former AdvaMed board chairman James Mazzo says.

*Correction Dec. 13, 2012: Mazzo is a member of AdvaMed's board of directors and he is chairman of the nominating committee. coverage of the medical device tax

Forget "cautious optimism" - the 2.3% medical device tax isn't going anywhere, according to Abbott Medical Optics president and former AdvaMed board chairman James Mazzo.

Speaking at MassDevice's Big 100 Roundtable West event in Newport Beach, Calif., last night, Mazzo told an audience of device stakeholders that the medical device tax flat-out won't be repealed despite the industry's best efforts in D.C.

"I'm not trying to be a 'Debbie Downer' here," Mazzo told after the presentation. "I'm just trying to be a realist."

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"We're still going to fight this," he added. "If we can modify it, that's a win."

Mazzo had nothing but praise for the industry's tactics in fighting the medical device tax, but maintained that the efforts would not result in repeal of the levy, which is expected to generate $30 billion over the course of 10 years in order to help pay for healthcare reform.

"I think our tactics are outstanding - remember that we were at $60 billion, we got to $30 billion," Mazzo told us. "The question was polled to me - do I think it's going to be repealed? It's not because of a lack of effort or a lack of tactics or even a lack of common sense, but I have to be realistic."