U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) is cosponsoring an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Resolution that calls for repealing the $29.1 billion Medical Device Tax, an onerous new excise tax on medical devices that took effect January 1 as part of President Obama's health care law. The amendment, introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), is aimed at repealing the provision, under which medical devices face a 2.3 percent excise tax.
Senator Ayotte has long supported repealing the tax, which threatens New Hampshire jobs and stands to increase costs for consumers. During the last Congress, she backed a similar amendment to the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, as well as a stand-alone bill, the Medical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act (S. 17) which Senator Hatch introduced to repeal the tax. Senator Ayotte helped reintroduce the stand-alone legislation (S. 232) earlier this year.
"Medical device manufacturers across the state have told me this tax will make it harder for them to invest and grow, and could result in job losses," said Senator Ayotte. "At a time when we need good-paying, sustainable jobs, this tax makes no sense. That is why I have been calling for the repeal of this tax for over two years."
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that several medical device companies have notified hospitals that they are implementing new surcharges and price increases to cover the costs of the device tax. Medicare's Chief Actuary has estimated that the tax will increase national health care costs by $18.2 billion in 2018. A 2011 study estimates that the tax threatens 43,000 jobs nationwide, and could result in $3.5 billion in lost wages. New Hampshire is home to about 50 medical device companies employing nearly 3,500 people.