As if the Obama Administration’s healthcare bill —The Affordable Care Act — wasn’t under enough fire this week with the start of Supreme Court hearings yesterday, medical technology trade organization AdvaMed held a press conference with congressmen from Pennsylvania and Minnesota to call for the repeal of the medical device tax instated by the bill and herald the release of a new report that benchmarks the competitiveness of the medical technology industry in the United States.
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (PA), U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach (6th-PA), U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan (7th-PA), Co-chair of the Congressional Med Tech Caucus U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen (3rd-MN), and U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (15th-PA) joined the University City Science Center’s Stephen Tang, David Nexon of AdvaMed and other leaders of the Pennsylvania bio tech industry at Quorum to discuss the negative impact the new 2.3 percent tax would have on U.S. competitiveness in the global biotech market.
The tax, which is scheduled to take effect in 2013, could apply to a range of medical devices from retail products like hearing aids to advanced medical technology, like MRIs, according to an AdvaMed press release. AdvaMed estimates the tax could result in the loss of up to 43,ooo jobs across the United States and views the tax as a threat to America’s competitiveness in the global medical technology market.
“Now our tax system is so uncompetitive for high-tech manufacturing industries like ours that the taxes our government applies to activities conducted in the U.S. are two and a half times higher than taxes foreign government levy on those same activities abroad,” said Nexon.
All the congressmen present registered their support of the life sciences industry in Pennsylvania. You can view the each of their remarks below.
Senator Toomey spoke of being more “bullish” about supporting life science and medical technology in Pennsylvania.
“We are poised to dominate this field,” said Senator Toomey.
Representative Gerlach said the work he will do with Representative Paulsen on the Ways and Means Committee will support the life sciences industry.
“We have to make sure that we’re incentivizing the investment in this particular industry, the life science industry,” said Gerlach.
Representative Meehan discussed the importance of life sciences to the Pennsylvania economy and the competitiveness of the medical technology industry on the global market.
“When we talk about the growth of the middle class in India and China, I do not want it to be at the expense of the middle class here,” said Representative Meehan.
Representative Dent discussed the impact of “this really devastating tax” on some of the medical technology companies he works with in his district.
Representative Paulsen, who co-chairs the medical technology caucus, discussed why the medical device tax is a threat to an industry he believes to be an “American success story.”
“There is no doubt that it is a tax on innovation,” said Paulsen.
The full report, “The Economic Impact of the U.S. Advanced Medical Technology Industry,” which was prepared for AdvaMed by the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, is available here.-30-