The "Protect Medical Innovation Act, H.R. 523, was introduced this week in the 113th Congress. Representative Bill Owens signed on as an original co-sponsor of the bipartisan legislation, which aims to repeal the 2.3 percent medical device excise tax.
"Repealing the medical device tax would be a positive step for the industry and for job creation in the region," said Owens. "This has bipartisan support, and I look forward to seeing this effort move forward."
According to the bill's sponsors, there are over 8,000 medical device firms associated with nearly half a million jobs in the United States, including in New York. The United States is currently a net exporter of such devices.
The 2.3% tax on medical devices went into effect at the beginning of 2013 after being enacted through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While Congressman Owens supported the ACA, he also has long supported an ongoing review of the ACA to improve the law and make changes to parts that don't work. This includes the Congressman's work to repeal the so-called "1099" small business provisions of the ACA, and now the medical device tax.
"I firmly believe in the value of expanded access to affordable healthcare, but I remain committed to ensuring this goal is achieved responsibly and in a way that supports the local economy," said Owens.
Owens cosponsored identical legislation in the previous Congress after first being approached at a town hall by a constituent in Plattsburgh who serves as the controller of a medical device manufacturer in Clinton County.