Will incoming Mass. Senator Warren keep true to pledge to repeal medical device tax?

November 7, 2012 by MassDevice staff

Medical device industry stakeholders hope Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren will hold true to campaign pledges to push for repeal of the medical device tax.

Elizabeth Warren

Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren will be expected to live up to a campaign pledge to help repeal the medical device tax now that she's won a coveted position representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one of the nation's largest medtech hubs.

Warren replaced a "visible leader" in defeating challenger Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), and she needs to make good on promises she made to repeal the 2.3% excise tax hitting medical device makers in January, Zoll Medical CEO Rick Packer told industry officials in Boston Wednesday.

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Warren vowed her support for medtech tax repeal efforts in an April op-ed for MassDevice, writing that "when Congress taxes the sale of a specific product through an excise tax, as the Affordable Care Act does with medical devices, it too often disproportionately impacts the small companies with the narrowest financial margins and the broadest innovative potential."

"Is it a tougher [fight for repeal] today?" Packer said, reflecting on the race. "If Elizabeth Warren is true to her word, then it should not be."

Warren made news this past spring when she wrote that "the government also plays a critical role in speeding – or slowing – the pace of innovation. Three changes in government policy are essential: a more efficient regulatory system at the FDA, repeal of the medical device tax, and an increased national commitment to research and education."