Repeal the medical device tax

America’s medical device manufacturers have from the very start maintained that the $30 billion excise tax on advanced medical technology is simply bad policy and would harm innovation, job creation and U.S. global leadership in this important manufacturing sector.

Unfortunately, with the Jan. 1, 2013, implementation, the effects of the tax are becoming clear. The true incidence of the device tax will be determined by market forces. This is true of other financing mechanisms included in the Affordable Care Act as well, such as Medicare cuts in payments to hospitals, which may be absorbed by the hospitals or passed on to patients, to private insurers and employers or to suppliers like the device industry.

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AdvaMed and its member companies support the repeal of this onerous tax. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have joined us in this effort because it is already substantially increasing costs to the device industry and harming its competitiveness. We have already seen a number of harmful effects, including layoffs, reduced investments in R&D and delays in constructing new manufacturing facilities and other capital improvements, which suggest that much of the cost of the tax is being absorbed by companies on whom the tax is levied.

We urge all healthcare stakeholders to join with the medical technology industry in fighting for repeal of this anti-patient, anti-job, anti-innovation tax. That is the best way to ensure no one has to absorb the tax’s negative impact.


Ubl is president and CEO of AdvaMed (Advanced Medical Technology Association).