Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) stormed through the Bay State this week, hitting 3 medical device makers to highlight his push to repeal the 2.3% medical device tax.
The Commonwealth’s junior senator made campaign stops at Haemonetics Corp (NYSE:HAE) in Braintree, Mass., Belmont Instrument in Billerica, Mass. and Siemens Diagnostics (NYSE:SI) in Walpole, Mass., calling for the repeal of the levy contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
"The medical device industry is vital to Massachusetts and we have to stop this new tax before it risks wiping out thousands of good-paying jobs and takes millions of dollars out of our local economies," Brown said in prepared remarks. "These companies are on the cutting edge of medical device manufacturing and their products save lives every day. This new tax will kill jobs and take away revenue needed for research and development projects."
The medical device tax has been a winning issue for Brown, going back to his 2010 campaign for the senate seat long held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.
"I remember learning about it when I was running," he told MassDevice in a recent interview. "I went to Zoll Medical (NSDQ:ZOLL) and they were talking about how the device tax could potentially represent their entire net profit."
His first thoughts were,"Wow. Now that puts it in real terms," Brown told us.
About 20 of his fellow senators have signed on as co-sponsors of his Senate bill (S. 262) to repeal the tax, he said, adding that he’s in it for the long haul.
"I’m a plodder. I just plod away and at the end of the session Scott Brown has 5 bills passed, so I’m going to continue to work on it and build coalitions and help bang it out," he said.
He also encouraged medical device makers to continue to raise the issue with their representatives in Congress.
"One of the challenges is that I live in an innovative state. When you live in an innovative state, you have some other congressmen and senators that are from agriculture states and they don’t understand what’s at stake here," he said. "I have to educate them on these issues."
Brown, who is in a reelection fight with likely opponent Elizabeth Warren, told us he feels he can count on the med-tech industry as a strong base of support.
"They know what I’ve been doing. I don’t have to bring it up," he said. "They know that I’ve been advocating for this."