Pennsylvania Republicans rally for device-tax repeal
Five Republican lawmakers have joined voices with AdvaMed to reiterate the trade group’s call for repeal of the medical device tax embedded in the Affordable Care Act.

Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, along with Keystone State Congressmen Jim Gerlach, Patrick Meehan, Charlie Dent and Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen, made their remarks at a March 26 press conference organized by AdvaMed at University City Science Center in Philadelphia.

AdvaMed’s David Nexon and Philly-area firms Endo and Pennsylvania Bio also participated in the discussion, which was timed to spotlight the release of a new market study, commissioned by AdvaMed, warning that the U.S. stands to lose tens of thousands of jobs and $8 billion in economic output if the tax is not repealed.

“This was an ill-conceived tax in the first place,” Toomey told the attending media. “It ought not be applied in this industry, in my view. It’s ill-designed, given the fact that it’s a tax on revenue, irrespective of profitability. This is a particularly bad way to apply any kind of tax, but particularly to an industry that has so many young, promising, fledgling companies that don’t need to be hit with a tax that can exceed their profitability.”  

“A device tax of 2.3 percent is just simply unacceptable—a tax on bedpans and tongue depressors and bandages, wheelchairs, prosthetics,” said Dent. “That’s what we’re talking about, a tax on real people.”

Bills to repeal the tax are pending in both the House and Senate, most notably Paulsen’s Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2011—which, with 229 co-sponsors, seems headed for the House floor sooner rather than later.