An effort to insert an amendment repealing the medical device tax into a Democrat-backed bill that would extend tax cuts to small business, fell short in the Senate Thursday, as GOP leaders stepped up efforts to sink the 2.3% levy ahead of its January 2013 implementation.
The amendment to S.2237, or the "Small Business Jobs & Tax Relief Act," sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), did not survive as members of the upper house voted to end debate. GOP lawmakers later prevailed in blocking a vote on the entire bill.
Hatch currently has 29 co-sponsors to a separate med-tech tax bill, S.17: Medical Device Access & Innovation Protection Act, which would repeal the tax outright.
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), a vocal opponent of the tax, joined Hatch in the amendment and took to the Senate floor to rail against the device tax.
“This 2.3% tax on medical device sales will cost our economy thousands of jobs and limit Americans’ access to the most groundbreaking, state-of-the-art medical devices," Brown said.
The junior senator from the Commonwealth noted that some companies with ties to the Bay State, including Covidien (NYSE:COV) and Stryker (NYSE:SYK), would pay more than $250 million in levies if the tax is allowed to go into effect in January 2013.
“These are just 2 examples, but in Massachusetts we have over 400 medical device companies," Brown said. "The Massachusetts medical device industry employs nearly 25,000 workers and contributes over $4 billion to our economy. Massachusetts alone is expected to lose over 2,600 jobs as a direct result of this tax.”