Yesterday, the House Ways & Means Committee approved legislation, the Protect Medical Innovation Act (H.R. 436), repealing the job-destroying ObamaCare medical device tax, moving the bill to a full House vote as early as next week. Here are a few quick facts about the ObamaCare tax, and why it is imperative for the House to pass H.R. 436:
- The ObamaCare Medical Device Tax Puts More Than 40,000 American Jobs At Risk. A study released by the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) found that the medical device industry “could lose 10 percent of its U.S. workforce because of” the ObamaCare tax, shipping an estimated 43,000 jobs overseas, The Hill reports. “At least three firms have already announced layoffs in anticipation of the tax,” according to the Washington Post, and several others have warned that more job losses lay ahead.
- The Medical Device Tax Stifles Innovation, Hurts Small Businesses. Marshal Linder, president and COO of a Pittsburgh-based medical device company, says “this onerous provision is essentially a tax on innovation.” As Linder explains, “It takes years of substantial investment to introduce a new or improved device, and I know firsthand that companies are often not profitable while growing and creating jobs. Amazingly, this tax would apply to the sales of medical device companies, which means they would have to pay it even if they don’t make a penny in profit.” “Companies at make-or-break margins could be taxed out of existence,” a recent Wall Street Journal editorial explains, “especially in an intensely competitive industry where four of five businesses are start-ups or midsized.”
- The ObamaCare Tax Will Raise Health Care Costs for Americans. Wanda Moebius, spokeswoman for AdvaMed, says “some companies will be forced to raise prices on customers such as hospitals and physicians” to offset the cost of the tax. (The Washington Post, 5/30/12) And, as columnist George Will explained, “the 2.3 percent tax, unless repealed, will mean not only fewer jobs but also fewer pain-reducing and life-extending inventions — stents, implantable defibrillators, etc. — which have reduced health-care costs.”
- There Is Bipartisan Support for Repealing the Medical Device Tax. According to a report in today’s Washington Times, “Rep. Dan Boren, Oklahoma Democrat, signed onto the Paulsen legislation Wednesday, bringing to 11 the number of Democrats supporting it in the House in addition to 228 Republicans.” Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY), also a cosponsor of H.R. 436, attributed his support for the bill to “concerns about potential job loss,” The Post-Star recently reported.
Next week’s anticipated vote on the Protect Medical Innovation Act will mark the 30th vote taken by House Republicans to defund, dismantle and repeal ObamaCare, and is part of the continuing focus on helping the economy grow and create jobs. The House has already advanced more than 30 jobs bills under the Plan for America’s Jobs Creators that remain stuck in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Given the bipartisan support that exists for H.R. 436 in both Houses of Congress, Senate Democrats should stop their obstruction and pass this bill when it reaches their chamber.