creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Daily Editorials
1 Sep 2014
Raising Children: Costly but Worth It

"You're eating us out of house and home!" "Do you think money grows on trees?" "What do you mean, you need a $… Read More.

1 Sep 2014
Ferguson Commission Needs a Push From the White House

More than two weeks ago we issued our first call for a Ferguson Commission to investigate the root causes of … Read More.

29 Aug 2014
Labor costs weighing down Postal Service

There is even more bad financial news for the U.S. Postal Service, according to a report released last week … Read More.

Repeal Tax on Medical Devices

Comment

The Affordable Care Act passed along party lines in 2010. But as aspects of the law start going into effect, bipartisan consensus is building against one of its key funding mechanisms — a tax on medical devices.

Democrats and Republicans alike revolted against Obamacare's 2.3 percent tax on medical device makers late last month when the Senate resoundingly voted down the $29 billion excise tax on gross device sales. Seventy-nine senators voted to repeal the tax. Among the 33 Democratic senators was Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan — a state that is home to one of the country's leading device makers: Stryker.

The devices tax went into effect on Jan. 1 as part of a wave of new Obamacare taxes — including a .9 percent Medicare surcharge and 3.8 percent tax on investments for incomes over $200,000 — put in place to start funding the subsidies for private health insurance and state Medicaid expansion that hit next year. But medical manufacturers say the onerous device tax, which they must pay whether they make a profit or not, will punish an industry in which the U.S. is the undisputed global leader. Many firms say the tax (to be collected over 10 years) will gut research budgets and force business relocation abroad.

The medical supply giant Stryker has spoken against the device tax, saying it will cost the company roughly $100 million a year — or 20 percent of its research and development budget. The company has already announced job cuts of 1,170, which is 5 percent of its worldwide workforce, in anticipation of the tax.

"Stryker remains significantly concerned with the upcoming medical device excise tax and its negative impact on jobs and innovation, and will continue to work with Congress to try to repeal the tax," says Stryker CEO Kevin Lobo.

As a result of this pushback, Stabenow — who voted for the tax just three years ago — is now one of the leading voices for the tax's repeal, even though she has not suggested a funding replacement.

"The medical technology industry directly employs over 400,000 people in the United States and is responsible for a total of 2 million skilled manufacturing jobs," reads a letter urging repeal, which Stabenow co-signed with other Democratic senators.

"We must do all we can to ensure that our country maintains its global leadership position in the medical technology industry and keeps good jobs here at home."

The letter also complained of Obamacare's haphazard implementation, saying that device makers have "received little guidance about how to comply with the tax."

Stabenow is joined by other Democrats who represent medical-device manufacturing states.

For instance, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken says a repeal is urgent: "For now, the best thing to do to ensure that this important industry continues to create jobs and producing life-saving devices is to delay this unwise tax."

The medical device tax repeal was attached to the nonbinding Senate budget resolution. Repeal will come if the Senate sends a bill to the GOP-controlled House, which has repeatedly voted to kill the tax.

REPRINTED FROM THE DETROIT NEWS

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM



Comments

0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Newspaper Contributors
Sep. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
About the author About the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Walter Williams
Walter E. WilliamsUpdated 3 Sep 2014
Thomas Sowell
Thomas SowellUpdated 2 Sep 2014
Froma Harrop
Froma HarropUpdated 2 Sep 2014

5 May 2011 A World Without Bin Laden

13 Jul 2012 Candidates' Silliness Insults Voters Right and Left

9 Feb 2012 Foreclosure Fraud Demands Justice and Reparations