Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX), a longtime vocal opponent of the medical device tax, has argued that the 2.3% tax would kill jobs in the industry. However, a report from the Boston Business Journal shows that the company’s U.S. headcount has remained constant over the past year.
In its recent annual filing, the Marlboro-based firm said it ended the year with 27,000 employees and that 14,000 of them are based outside of the U.S. That figure is up from a year earlier, when the company reported a global headcount of 25,000 with 12,000 of them out of the country.
A spokesperson reportedly clarified that the company added “several hundred” U.S. employees in 2016 but that the increase wasn’t reflected in the filing.
“Our overall number of employees has grown globally, including in the US,” the company told the news outlet. “For reporting purposes, however, we generally round numbers since exact figures can vary from month to month and resources are at times redeployed to support high growth opportunities.”
The 2.3% excise tax on U.S. sales of medical devices was suspended for 2 years in 2015. As a result of the suspension, Boston Scientific said the company has been able to invest in research and development, collaborations and “targeted hiring”.
The company has previously blamed the tax for stifling jobs in the industry. In January 2013, the company announced it was eliminating up to 1,000 jobs around the world and CEO Michael Mahoney partly blamed the device tax, according to reports from the Minnesota Star Tribune.
A plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act proposed by Republicans yesterday would permanently repeal the medical device tax effective Jan. 1 of next year.
A hold on the excise tax went into effect at the beginning of last year and is slated to expire by the end of 2017.
“AdvaMed commends the House Ways & Means Committee for moving forward with legislation that will permanently repeal the medical device excise tax. Bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate are on record in support of repeal of this onerous tax, which has been associated with a significant loss of American jobs,” president & CEO Scott Whitaker said today in prepared remarks. “Repealing the tax will provide medical technology innovators with the long-term certainty necessary to support future job growth and sustainable, cutting-edge R&D that will ultimately lead to the next generation of breakthroughs in patient care and treatment. We urge the House and Senate to act expeditiously to pass this important legislation.”