Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) today expressed concern about tax increases in President Obama's new health care law that will directly impact medical device manufacturers in Northern Michigan.
"As a doctor who treated patients for the last 30 years, I know this impending tax increase will hurt Northern Michigan. This tax hike will hurt patients and small businesses. There are medical device businesses in Michigan's First District that employ hundreds of people. These job providers should not be punished to pay for President Obama's new health care law," said Dr. Benishek, a general surgeon who practiced medicine for the last 28 years in Iron Mountain.
Recently, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published an outline of medical supplies and technologies that will be subject to a 2.3 percent tax that is scheduled to be imposed on the sale of medical devices on January 1, 2013. As a result of this tax, it is expected that medical device manufacturers will pass on the cost of this tax increase to their buyers and thus increase the costs of health care.
"Our economy is not doing well right now and good-paying jobs in Northern Michigan are hard to find. It makes absolutely no sense to raise taxes on job providers who make medical equipment. Additionally, these tax increases will be passed along to the consumer and make health care even more expensive for Northern Michigan families. We need solutions that lower the cost of health care, not increase it while putting local jobs at risk," added Dr. Benishek.
In June 2012, Dr. Benishek voted in support of the bipartisan "Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2011" (H.R. 436), a bill that would eliminate this new $29 billion excise tax on medical devices. The legislation passed the House of Representatives, but has not been considered by the U.S. Senate.