MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Former President Bill Clinton spoke openly before an audience of healthcare stakeholders in Laguna Beach, Calif., this weekend, saying bluntly that efforts to repeal the medical device tax must come with a strategy to make up the lost funds.
"You’ve got medical device people, they hate the tax," Clinton said during the weekend’s Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit. "If you want to get rid of it you’ve got to say how you’d replace it."
Issues of a so-called "pay-for" have long plagued efforts to repeal the medical device tax, which was created under the Affordable Care Act to help fund healthcare reform.
Advocates of repeal have made significant headway on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have signed their names to measures that would repeal the tax, but Congress would have to find some means to make up for the $30 billion in revenue the medical device tax would generate. Previous pay-for proposals have rubbed Democrats the wrong way, and President Barack Obama has on more than 1 occasion promised to veto a device tax repeal bill should one land on his desk.
Clinton reiterated the need to make up for the medtech tax in speaking with Masimo (NSDQ:MASI) chairman & CEO Joe Kiani, who founded the Patient Safety Movement through the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation & Competition in Healthcare.
Healthcare’s 1st job loss in a decade
Healthcare posted its 1st monthly net loss in jobs in 10 years, part of a disappointing December tally from the U.S. Labor Statistics Bureau – a far cry from the average monthly gain of 17,000 jobs posted during the rest of 2013.
Study: ACA rollout’s cost will be 7x that of Medicare
The rollout of the Affordable Care Act is likely to cost 7 times the price of establishing Medicare, largely because the simplicity that was deliberately baked in to Medicare in 1966 is absent from the ACA.
"Obamacare’s exchanges must coordinate thousands of different plans with premiums, co-payments, deductibles and provider networks that vary county-by-county. Medicare offered a single, uniform plan," according to a pair of researchers from the Citu University of New York.
German researchers develop steerable robotic sperm
It’s a bull market for robotic sperm, according to our friends at MedGadget:
"A microscope slide of sperm is a chaotic mess of swimming tadpole-like cells. Seeking to tame the spermy anarchy, Oliver Schmidt’s team at the Institute for Integrative Nanosciences in Germany reportedly found a way. First, they obtained a sample of unsuspecting bull sperm. Then, utilizing ferromagnetic microtubes, they were able to trap individual sperm cells. Once inside the tube-shaped sperm cage, the flagella is able to propel the sperm-tube complex forward. Utilizing external magnetic fields the team was able to control this contraption to effectively maneuver the genetic submarine around."