The medical device industry’s efforts to repeal an impending 2.3% tax on sales continue to run in high gear as Ohio’s med-tech industry discusses impacts with local legislators and a Congressional GOP group takes the rhetoric and runs with it.
Executives from Ohio-based Mentor, Steris (NYSE:STE) and Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) were joined by device industry lobbying groups AdvaMed and BioOhio in meeting with Reps. Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio) and Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) to discuss the potential impacts of the tax, which is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2013.
The discussion focused on the tax’s potential to harm jobs and innovation in the U.S. medical device industry, one of the nation’s few manufacturing sectors that creates a surplus in exports versus imports, according to an AdvaMed press release.
"Our industry can be a partner in job creation and an engine for growth for our national economic recovery but public policies need to support that growth and allow us to compete on the global stage. Repealing the device tax is an important first step," AdvaMed president & CEO Stephen Ubl said in prepared remarks.
In an unrelated statement, the National Republican Congressional Committee took an especially hard stance on the medical device tax in a statement released this week, using the measure as a political dart aimed at Utah Congressman Jim Matheson (D), who is in the midst of his 7th run for office.
"ObamaCare’s medical device tax, set to go into effect next year, is fulfilling Jim Matheson’s commitment to his party’s limitless spending addiction and job-killing agenda," according to an NRCC press release. "The tax falls under Matheson’s health care overhaul and is threatening to increase health care costs, crush medical innovation and has already forced employers to outsource jobs."
It’s not clear, however, what part of Matheson’s message NRCC is targeting. The Congressman supports "repeal of burdensome taxes on medical device companies, many of which have facilities in Utah, which will threaten innovation and job growth and limit treatment options for patients," according to his campaign website.
In fact, Jim Matheson was one of 34 Democrats who voted “no” on President Barack Obama’s landmark health care reform bill, and has publicly stated that the supports "repeal of misguided elements of the health care law that are too costly, burdensome or overreaching," according to a statement released earlier this year.