A bipartisan group of 10 Senators, led by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), has introduced the Medical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act, S. 149, a bill to repeal the medical device tax that was implemented as a part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Under the ACA, manufacturers of medical devices are required to pay a 2.3% excise tax on products ranging from surgical tools to bedpans. These senators posit that the tax, which took effect in January 2013, is hurting innovation, job creation, and the overall delivery of quality patient care. A study by the Advanced Medical Technology Association found that the tax impacted approximately 33,000 American jobs in its first year, either through layoffs or forgone jobs that would have been created.
“Every dollar medical device manufacturers spend on this onerous tax is a dollar taken away from American innovation, job growth, and the ability to provide groundbreaking medical technologies to patients in need,” Hatch says in a release. “Both Republicans and Democrats understand just how bad this tax really is, and we owe it to the American people to ensure the development of life-saving medical devices is not plagued by high costs that will, ultimately, be passed on to patients. This is a common-sense bill, and I’m hopeful Congress will act swiftly to repeal this misguided tax once and for all.”
Members of the medical device community reiterated their support for repeal in a letter today signed by nearly 1,000 corporations and associations.
Joining Hatch in introducing the Medical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act were Sens Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn), Pat Toomey (R-Pa), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind), Richard Burr (R-NC), Al Franken (D-Minn), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Pa), Dan Coats (R-Ind), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).