Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) this week inked a letter to colleagues seeking support for a new bill that aims to repeal the medical device tax.
The newly dubbed Protect Medical Innovation act of 2019 comes backed by Kind as well as Jacki Walorski (R-Ind.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) and Jason Smith (R-Mo.).
In his letter to colleagues, Kind called the 2.3% excise tax “extremely punitive to medical technology investors,” and said that since its inception there has been “growing bipartisan support” to end it.
Rep. Kind warns that if the device tax is not cancelled this year, while still under suspension, it will be reinstated in 2020 and that “billions of dollars will be diverted away from research and development for cures and therapies.”
“Perhaps most concerning, the short term suspensions limit the ability of companies to make longer term investments in new technologies and treatments without the certainty of a full repeal,” Kind writes in the letter.
He goes on to echo previously voiced concerns about possible job losses, referencing an earlier decrease in medical tech manufacturing jobs that opponents of the tax often claim were the direct result of the tax prior to its suspension.
“We urge you to join us in supporting the Protect Medical Innovation Act, and we look forward to working with you to help ensure that this proud American success story can continue to be the world leader in providing a healthier tomorrow,” Rep. Kind wrote.
Industry group AdvaMed has thrown their support behind the new Protect Medical Innovation act of 2019, hoping that this bill, unlike so many that have failed in the past, will gain enough support to succeed.
“Thanks to Reps. Ron Kind, Jackie Walorski, Scott Peters, Richard Hudson, Terri Sewell, Darin LaHood, Suzan DelBane and Jason Smith for taking action to repeal the medical device tax. We know the impact of this tax: jobs are lost, vital R&D and infrastructure funds are cut, and patients lose out on needed innovations. We simply can’t allow this onerous tax to go back into effect at the end of the year, hurting American patients and American innovation; let’s repeal it once and for all now,” AdvaMed CEO Scott Whitaker said in a prepared statement.