The medical device industry will have its voice heard on Capitol Hill next week, as delegations for med-tech and other life science sectors from 18 states converge on the nation’s capitol to conduct coordinated visits to their local representatives in Congress.
Among the issues expected to be hammered home to lawmakers is the potential damage of the 2.3% medical device tax, slated to begin in 2013. The pilgrimage is part of a coordinated effort by AdvaMed’s State Medical Technology Alliance, which organizes annual fly-ins for state associations that represent the interests of the medical device industry.
"I think it’s important for members to hear from industry," Carrie Hartgen, VP of state government & regional affairs for AdvaMed told MassDevice.
The fly-in comes at a critical time for the med-tech industry. With a new user fee agreement sitting on the table and a looming excise tax set to go into effect in just over 9 months, anxiety is high among device stakeholders.
The added squeeze on Congressional leaders could also help breed a little urgency for repeal efforts currently underway in the House. Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) currently has 228 co-sponsors for his bill to repeal the medical device tax, enough to pass it in one chamber of Congress. However, he still has not gotten the GOP leadership to put a straight up or down vote on the table.
That could change soon, according to officials from House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) office who told MassDevice Wednesday that Cantor is supportive of the measure and is "continuing to work with the bill’s sponsors regarding timing for consideration for the coming year."
Members of the state delegations are set to arrive in Washington, D.C. late next week and will hit Capitol Hill on March 1st.