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The Journal Gazette - Obamacare Device Tax is a Potential Job-Killer


Location: Fort Wayne, IN

By Representative Mike Pence

Indiana is a leader in the medical-device industry; its long history in the field is well known.

In the late 1800s Revra DePuy invented the fiber splint to replace wooden staves used to immobilize fractures. The demand was so great that DePuy founded the DePuy Manufacturing Company in Warsaw.

The company that bears DePuy's name, as well as Zimmer, Biomet and dozens of others, have helped make the region around Warsaw the orthopedic capital of the world. Other companies such as Cook Medical in Bloomington, Boston Scientific in Spencer and Roche in Indianapolis, to name just a few, help improve the lives of people worldwide every day by making orthopedic, cardiovascular and other specialized medical devices.

All told, the medical-device industry employs more than 20,000 Hoosiers, with nearly 6,800 in Warsaw alone. Every day these researchers, scientists, technicians and high-tech manufacturers produce a multitude of life-saving and life-enhancing products that are sold around the world, generating an economic impact of more than $10 billion in Indiana.

Unfortunately, these jobs and this thriving sector of Indiana's economy are at risk due to an excise tax on medical devices that was included in Obamacare.

If Congress does not repeal this tax before the end of the year, a 2.3 percent tax will be levied on the sale of medical devices by a manufacturer, producer or importer, including everything from artificial knees and hips to stents and catheters.

The tax will cost an estimated $28.5 billion over nine years and cost our state more than 2,000 jobs, hurting the companies that make the products and the people who need them.

This week, the House will vote on the Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012, bipartisan legislation that will repeal the medical device tax.

I am a co-sponsor of this legislation and look forward to supporting it.

During this time of high unemployment and a continuing difficult economy, we need to do everything in our power to lift up our nation's innovators, not stifle them with higher taxes.

This week Congress can demonstrate its commitment to job growth by repealing Obamacare's harmful medical device tax.

Indiana takes great pride in manufacturing precision medical equipment that changes people's lives.

Repealing the medical device tax will ensure that Hoosiers can continue to produce these innovative products, and Indiana can continue to be a leader in the medical device industry.

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