By Max Pizarro
Going on offense today in a flailing economy, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-13) targeted the Affordable Healthcare Act as he criticized his opponent, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
On a tour of a medical device manufacturer in New Providence, Kyrillos argued that the healthcare industry will soon face record high tax increases, including the New Jersey-based C.R. Bard, which must shoulder a 2.3 percent medical device tax.
"This tax will effectively diminish the ability of medical device manufacturers, like C.R. Bard, to innovate and produce quality medical products for their consumers," Kyrillos said. "Companies will be forced to raise prices in order to remain solvent due to this tax. That increase in price will then be passed along to the consumer in the form of more expensive health insurance, or more out-of-pocket healthcare spending. This tax will also greatly diminish the amount of money the industry will be able to set aside for research and development, making us less competitive and advanced in the global marketplace.
"Our healthcare spending as a country already far surpasses what it should. We need real reform that deals with the most basic problems of our healthcare industry. Senator Menendez is clearly mistaken if he thinks that higher taxes within a convoluted matrix of new laws and regulations is real reform."
Menendez has repeatedly argued that the healthcare act initiated by Congress and President Barack Obama would ultimately cut costs as a consequence of requiring greater numbers of people to have health insurance.
Kyrillos, however, cited a May 2012 study by the Pacific Research Institute noting that medical research and development will decrease by nearly $2 billion as a result of this tax. Another study, produced by the American Action Forum, found that this tax will force the medical device industry to decrease its workforce by up to 47,100 people, or 10% of the entire workforce.