Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) today announced his support for the "Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2011" (H.R. 436), a bill that eliminates a new $29 billion excise tax on medical devices imposed by President Obama's health care law.
"This impending tax increase will hurt Northern Michigan's economy. With economic growth sluggish and jobs hard to come by, it makes no sense to increase the tax burden on local job providers. There are medical device businesses in Northern Michigan that employ hundreds of people. These job providers should not be punished to pay for President Obama's health care plan," said Dr. Benishek, a doctor from Iron River.
The "Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2011" will repeal a 2.3 percent tax that is scheduled to be imposed on the sale of medical devices on January 1, 2013. As a result of this tax, it is expected that medical device manufacturers will pass on the cost of this tax increase to their buyers and thus increase the costs of health care.
"Sadly, I see this as a tax on medical innovation. After treating patients in Northern Michigan all of my career, I do not want our nation's innovators to have to lay off workers and possibly move their business overseas. We need to reward medical innovators, not penalize them," added Dr. Benishek, who worked in Iron Mountain as a doctor 28 years.
Medical device manufacturers are already beginning to brace themselves for this impending tax increase. Reports indicate Stryker Corporation, based in Kalamazoo, announced it would be laying off 1,000 workers, blaming the new tax for the job losses.
"The President claimed his health care law would lower costs, but this tax hike has the potential to increase health care costs for everyone. We need a different approach. I recommend we enact free-market reforms such as letting people purchase health insurance across state lines, encouraging medical innovations and allowing patients more flexibility to decide on how their health care dollars are spent," stated Dr. Benishek.