medical devices

Abolish the Tax on Medical Devices

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October 16  |  Health Policy, Tax Policy  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . Taxing Innovation Tempers Job Creation.

One of the most troubling elements of the Affordable Care Act, known also as Obamacare, was the tax imposed on America’s medical device companies. Since this $29 billion tax on innovation was passed in 2010, large numbers of Senate and House members, Democrats and Republicans, have spoken out against it. Sadly, unless this destructive tax is repealed, the damage remains. Allow me to count the ways:

  • First, the $29 billion tax on America’s medical device companies applies to a company’s revenues – not their profits – which hurts small and entrepreneurial employers especially hard.
  • Second, at 2.3 percent of revenue the amount of the tax is troubling. For every $100 in revenue, the tax is $2.30, even if the company makes no profit.
  • Third, dollars are finite. The tax leaves less money for research and development, hiring employees, clinical trials and manufacturing.
  • Fourth, more than 400,000 Americans are employed by our robust medical device industry. Since 80 percent of medical device companies have fewer than 50 employees, we place thousands of small, innovative employers at risk.
  • Finally, the innovation derived from our medical device companies save lives, extend lives and improve the quality of our lives. Think artificial knees and hips, imaging machines, arterial stents and numerous other breakthroughs, jeopardized by a tax on innovation.

For those in Congress who have over-reached in their desire to abolish Obamacare, let it go. But for those in the House and Senate who would bypass this opportunity to abolish a damaging and destructive tax on innovation, let’s fix what should never have been enacted.

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