Industry Unhappy About Congress' Failure to Delay Device Tax
Posted on January 3, 2013 @ 11:32 am
2013 has started off with a bang, but it wasn’t the sound of the United States falling off the fiscal cliff. The U.S. Congress managed to make a deal regarding the expiration of tax cuts enacted under the last Bush administration, however timid. But medtech isn’t happy. January is now underway, and Congress has failed to repeal or delay the medical device excise tax.
“The effort to repeal the medical device tax will continue,” said Stephen J. Ubl, president and CEO of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed). “The passage of a scaled-back fiscal cliff package that did not address the medical device tax does not diminish the need to repeal the tax. It also does not diminish the bipartisan support for the repeal effort, which is premised on the recognition that the tax is costing jobs and threatening patient care. We urge Congress to repeal the device tax as it returns to address the other pressing tax and budget issues facing the country, so that we can avoid going over the medical technology innovation cliff.”
“AdvaMed also is disappointed in the cuts to imaging and diabetes-related services that are a part of the package passed by Congress,” Ubl said. “We believe these cuts will hurt access to important technologies that Medicare beneficiaries depend upon.”
The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) added its voice to the chorus, too, especially criticizing the cuts to Medicare imaging compensation.
“The House should reject Medicare cuts since the data clearly show that imaging use per beneficiary is on the decline,” said Gail Rodriguez, MITA’s executive director. “It is arbitrary and capricious for Congress to cut imaging and radiation therapy reimbursements without a full understanding of how those cuts negatively impact their constituents' ability to receive imaging and radiation therapy that saves lives.”
Rodriguez also drew focus to lawmakers’ failure to delay the device tax: “When you add up all the Medicare cuts and Congress’ reluctance to address the $30 billion medical device tax, this legislation produces a devastating impact that harms patient access to care, moves manufacturing jobs overseas and threatens America's leadership in medical research and development. We hope the Administration and congressional leaders will take notice of the growing bipartisan opposition to the job-killing device tax and immediately repeal or delay it.”
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