As a progressive Democrat who understands how to help small businesses grow, I will fight against the medical device tax. Unfortunately, our Congressman, John Tierney, stands in the way of these efforts.
The actual impact of the excise tax on medical devices is significantly higher than its 2.3-percent face value due to the costs of compliance each company must bear. Larger companies may already have tax personnel who can handle this, but the small, growing companies that make up a majority of the medical device industry in Massachusetts are hit hardest when they have to hire compliance staff that they wouldn’t otherwise need. Yet it’s these small companies that also drive much of the innovation the medical industry demands and the job growth our communities need.
Currently, there are over 400 medical device companies in Massachusetts, most of which are small- to medium-sized companies. They employ more than 24,000 people—the second-highest of any state in the country. And Essex and Middlesex counties have the highest concentration of medical device firms in the state.
I agree with Senator Al Franken (D-MN) who has called the Medical Device Tax a “job-killing tax” that hurts U.S. leadership in the global medical technology industry. In 2013, Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) introduced H.R. 523, a bill to repeal the tax, and six out of nine Massachusetts representatives co-sponsored the bill. John Tierney, the representative of the district with highest concentration of medical device companies, was not one of them.
I support the medical device community, and I understand that for all the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the bill is not perfect. We must continue to progressively reform the ACA and to support small the medical businesses that drive job growth and innovation and create the devices that save countless lives every day.