A number of Minnesota medical technology industry leaders gathered Wednesday at American Medical Systems in Minnetonka. The occasion was a roundtable hosted by U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen.
It was also an occasion for med tech leaders to do a bit of lobbying. More than 50 member companies of the trade association Lifescience Alley issued a letter urging congressional leaders to repeal the looming medical device excise tax.
The 2.3 percent tax is set to begin in 2013 and will cost the medical device industry an estimated $20 billion – a hit that industry leaders say will dampen innovation and eliminate jobs. The tax is meant to help pay for the 2010 health-care law. The provision taxes gross sales of more than $5 million for manufacturers and importers of medical devices such as cardiac defibrillators and artificial hips.
Signed by companies such as Boston Scientific, Minnetronix, Spineology and Sunshine Heart, the letter said:
“Most of us understand how much medical technology means for quality health care, but the importance of medical technology to the future of the American economy – and the Minnesota economy – is just as important. We are working hard in Minnesota to foster an economic environment in which businesses can grow, thrive and increase employment. This impending tax on medical innovation runs counter to our efforts. We urge you to pass legislation to repeal this devastating medical device excise tax as soon as possible.”
Paulsen is sponsoring a bill to repeal the tax, and Klobuchar said Wednesday that she is in favor of repeal.