Letter to the Editor: "Keep the Medical Device Tax"


Our research strongly supports your Jan. 30 editorial “No Case for Killing the Medical Device Tax”: Repealing the tax is indeed “a terrible idea” that solves a nonexistent problem. It could result in cutting health care programs that patients rely on.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions more Americans can now afford medical care that relies on devices like CT scans, cardiac implants or joint replacements. Our nonpartisan research center just released a report indicating that the device industry is thriving in the two years since the tax went into effect.

Stock prices increased an average of 66 percent for the largest United States-based device companies and even more for the smaller ones, much higher than the pharmaceutical companies, Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange.

Device companies’ sales and research and development also increased, and profit margins remained very strong. These data are consistent with the Congressional Research Service report that said the benefits of the health care law would help make up for the minimally negative effect of the tax.

Congress intended for industries that would benefit from the health law to help pay for it. The $29 billion raised from the device industry is far less than the amounts raised from other industries that benefit from the law, like drug makers and insurance companies. Why should those industries pay if the device tax is repealed?

Paul Brown, Washington

The writer is government relations manager at the National Center for Health Research.

See original letter here.