Joyce and Gibbs Call on House, Senate Leadership to Repeal Burdensome Medical Device Tax

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressmen Dave Joyce (OH-14) and Bob Gibbs (OH-07) urged leadership in both the House and the Senate to repeal the burdensome medical device tax.This tax, which was enacted as a revenue-raising provision intended to help finance Obamacare, applies to manufacturers and importers selling medical devices in the U.S. market. The current suspension of the medical device tax, which has been in effect in two-year intervals since 2015, expires on December 31, 2019. The Congressmen were joined by ten other members of Ohio’s congressional delegation in sending this letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“Every day, Ohio’s medical technology companies manufacture life-saving devices like pacemakers, sterilizers and insulin pumps,” said Dave. “The federal government should not place additional burdens on medical innovators and entrepreneurs who not only employ thousands of Buckeyes, but also provide cutting edge medical products and treatments that save lives. That’s why I’m proud to support the repeal of the medical device tax alongside my colleagues from Ohio. If this burdensome tax goes back into effect, patients who rely on innovative medical technologies will ultimately be the ones who suffer the consequences, and that is simply unacceptable.”

“We’ve seen the negative effects of the medical device tax before it was delayed in 2017, with nearly 30,000 jobs lost nationwide,” said Congressman Bob Gibbs. “Ohio’s medical device manufacturing industry currently employs more than 12,000 people, including Zimmer Biomet in the Seventh Congressional District. The jobs of 500 Ohioans Zimmer Biomet counts as team members could be at risk if this tax increase is implemented. My colleagues and I are asking congressional leaders from both chambers to recognize the importance of this issue and to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who rely on the medical device industry for their livelihood.

According to the Department of Commerce, the U.S. medical technology industry saw $6 billion in research budget cuts and the reduction of nearly 29,000 jobs when the medical device tax was in effect from 2013 to 2015. Since the tax has been suspended, medical technology companies in Ohio and across the country have been able to better invest those resources into research and development.

Nationwide, the medical device industry directly employs 400,000 Americans. In Ohio, medical technology manufacturers employ roughly 12,400 people who earn an average salary of nearly $43,000 per year, including STERIS in OH-14. STERIS employs approximately 2,000 people in Northeast Ohio alone and produces products such as sterilizers and washers, surgical tables, gastrointestinal endoscopy accessories, lights and equipment management systems, and connectivity solutions such as operating room integration. In total, the economic contribution from the medical technology industry to the Buckeye State’s economy is around $6 billion annually. 

To read the letter sent to House and Senate leadership urging the repeal of the medical device tax, click here.

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