For the sake of patient care and job creation, fully repeal the medical device tax
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As Congress approaches the end of 2017, regardless of one’s political philosophy, we can all agree that we need to pass policies that will drive innovation and job creation. Much of the rhetoric we hear today revolves around how important it is to give innovators and entrepreneurs a predictable environment for them to grow our economy and improve the standard of living. We couldn’t agree more. This is why it is so important to fully repeal the medical device tax.

When the medical device tax went into effect in 2013, it quickly became obvious that this was a policy that had devastating consequences. Medical device manufacturers have led the world for decades in developing cures and therapies that save lives and improve the quality of life, all while growing strong high-tech manufacturing jobs in our districts and in communities across the United States. Unfortunately, the medical device tax was destroying the very investments in patient care and job creation that we desperately need to continue leading the world’s innovation ecosystem. That’s why these past two years, the medical device tax has been suspended under a bipartisan agreement.


According to the Department of Commerce, while the medical device tax was in place, the industry lost approximately 29,000 good paying jobs, including many in our districts. Numerous surveys have highlighted the devastating impact this onerous policy has played in stunting job creation and thwarting investments in research and development. In fact, the most recent survey shows that 88 percent of medical technology innovators will be forced to slow down hiring or eliminate jobs if the device tax is reinstated in 2018. The sad reality is that many have already made tough decisions with the uncertainty that is caused by a temporary suspension of this tax, as opposed to the certainty of fully repealing it.

We’ve each seen first-hand the remarkable work that medical device manufacturers are passionately involved in every day, and the great jobs that it provides to our communities. In fact, when touring medical device facilities in our districts, one thing that stands out is the significant number of women that these firms employ. It’s no wonder that there has been broad, bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and the Senate over multiple sessions of Congress to repeal the medical device tax.

In 2015, the House led the way by overwhelmingly voting to put an end to this bad policy, and Congress worked together to pass a two-year suspension beginning in 2016. Unfortunately, the device tax is prepared to rear its ugly head once again, and we cannot allow this policy to cause any more harm to patient care and job creation. 

Let’s give our constituents an early Christmas present by showing them that Congress can work together to pass commonsense legislation with a long track-record of bipartisan support, which would also boost innovation, job creation and help drive down the costs of care. Let’s fully repeal the medical device tax once and for all.

Stefanik represents New York's 21st Distict. Gottheimer represents New Jersey's 5th District and is Co-Chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.