WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep Charlie Dent (PA-15) today advocated the repeal of the 2010 healthcare law’s tax on medical devices during an event focusing on the economic value of the medical technology industry. The event was hosted by the University City Science Center, an incubator for medical technology businesses, and included participants from AdvaMed, Endo and Pennsylvania Bio. U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (PA), and U.S. Reps. Jim Gerlach (PA-6), Patrick Meehan (PA-7) and Erik Paulsen (MN-3) also participated in the discussion.

“Medical device manufacturing is a growing industry in the 15th District, but detrimental taxes included in the 2010 healthcare law could slow its development and cost high-quality local jobs” said Rep. Dent. “Beyond our region, the implementation of the law’s medical device tax will stifle innovation across the country by forcing producers to divert already limited resources away from research and development. This tax will also increase the cost consumers pay for a variety of medical devices – from prosthetics to bedpans. Its repeal is incredibly important to our economy and the countless Americans who depend on medical devices.”

Under the healthcare law, medical device manufacturers will face a 2.3 percent excise tax in 2013. This tax even applies to researchers developing new technologies that have yet to recover their research costs -penalizing companies pioneering new lifesaving technologies. Not only will the new tax cost high-quality jobs, it will discourage, and perhaps prevent, the development of advanced devices. It is estimated 43,000 Americans jobs will be lost as a result of this punitive tax.

Locally, the tax would have detrimental impacts on companies like Aesculap, Boas Surgical, Biomed, B Braun, Olympus, Orasure and Precision Medical Instruments. Rep. Dent discussed areas of concerns for medical device manufacturers, including the affect of the tax, during recent meetings with leaders at Orasure and Precision Medical Instruments. 

Rep. Dent has introduced bipartisan legislation with Reps. Gerlach, Meehan and Paulsen to repeal the medical device tax. Sen. Toomey has introduced similar legislation in the U.S. Senate.

“Repealing this harmful tax will allow manufacturers in the 15th District and across the Commonwealth to continue investing in their growth and development,” Rep. Dent continued. “Rather than penalizing manufacturers of the medical devices Americans rely on to live healthy lives, the federal government should advance policies that encourage investment in innovation and the creation of new jobs.”

Pennsylvania is a leader in medical research, with 576 medical device companies employing 22,200 people. Another 80,000 Pennsylvanians work for suppliers and companies that support the medical device industry. The Lehigh Valley region is home to a vibrant biomedical industry that includes renowned research universities, premier national health care providers, and innovative biotech firms.