Walorski Introduces Bill to Repeal Job-Killing Medical Device Tax

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Walorski, Kind, Peters, Hudson Introduce Bill to Lower Cost of Life-Saving Medical Devices for American Patients

Protect Medical Innovation Act Co-Sponsored by a Bipartisan Coalition of 227 Members of Congress

WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.), and Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) today introduced the bipartisan Protect Medical Innovation Act, which will lower the cost of life-saving medical devices and create jobs by repealing the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device sales.

The bill is co-sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of 227 Members of Congress. Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

“The medical device tax would limit patient access to lifesaving technologies and put countless jobs at risk in northern Indiana, where Hoosiers are proud to be leaders in innovation and manufacturing,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “It’s time to end this job-killing tax once and for all. Permanently repealing the medical device tax will boost American manufacturing, support good-paying jobs, encourage research and innovation, and protect patients who depend on these products. The Protect Medical Innovation Act has broad, bipartisan support in Congress, and I hope we will vote on this bill without delay.”

“Medical devices and new technologies improve the lives and health of millions of Americans every year. Given that this tax applies to revenues – not profits – it is extremely punitive to medical technology innovators. It’s time we permanently repeal this outdated tax on innovation, and support jobs and well-being across the country,” said Rep. Ron Kind.

“Innovation drives progress in health care, technology, science, and more, but the medical device tax stifles innovation and passes costs to consumers. This commonsense change will fuel startup potential in San Diego and make it easier for these job creators to launch their ventures,” said Rep. Scott Peters.

“Since my first days in office, I’ve worked hard to ensure we have a health care system where everyone can get affordable coverage. The medical device tax destroys jobs, hamstrings innovation and raises the cost of life-saving products, and this bill will get rid of it once and for all,” said Rep. Richard Hudson.

BACKGROUND

The 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device sales took effect in 2013, but has been suspended since 2016. The tax impacts devices often used by patients throughout their lives, including pacemakers, joint replacements, and many surgical tools.

The medical device industry employs 519,000 nationwide, with over 80 percent of medical device firms employing fewer than 50 employees. According to some estimates, researchers saw a $34 million reduction in industry research and development while the medical device tax was in effect. Reinstating the medical device tax could hurt the success of these businesses, and in-turn, stifle research and development of life-saving or life-altering medical advancements for American consumers.

The full text of H.R. 2207, the Protect Medical Innovation Act, is available here.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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