An amendment championed by U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to repeal the medical device tax that was created in the president's health care law passed the Senate last night by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 79 -20. Sen. Toomey joined Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) to offer this amendment to the budget resolution.
Sen. Toomey's measure eliminates a burdensome provision of the president's health care law which forces manufacturers of medical devices -- ranging from cochlear implants to pacemakers to artificial joints -- to pay a 2.3 percent tax on their sales. The tax, which took effect in January, is expected to cost device manufacturers roughly $194 million per month, putting 43,000 American jobs at risk, according to the Advanced Medical Technology Association. It is already hindering innovation, job creation, and quality, affordable patient care.
"The medical device tax will cost Pennsylvania's economy $100 million a year, causing job losses and impacting the ability of companies to expand and hire. The tax is discouraging businesses both in Pennsylvania and across the United States from growing and planning for their futures," said Sen. Toomey. "I have heard from many manufacturers including Fujirebio Diagnostics based in Malvern, B. Braun located in the Lehigh Valley, and Cook Medical with a location in Vandergrift that this tax is already eliminating Pennsylvania jobs, undermining our economy, and driving up the cost of care for patients."