President Obama Against Delaying Implementation Of Medical Device Excise Tax

This week’s update on the medical device excise tax – a piece of legislation scheduled to go into effect in just over a week’s time – is not optimistic for industry groups lobbying to delay its implementation. Despite a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at the beginning of December from a group of Democratic senators pleading the case for a repeal of the tax, President Obama declared in a televised interview that he was not in favor of this particular strategy.

Minnesota station WCCO broadcast the interview on December 13, in which Frank Vascellaro sat down with the President in order to discuss a wide range of economic issues surrounding the ‘fiscal cliff’ debate that has dominated the national discourse over the past month. Towards the end of the conversation, Vascellaro asked Obama directly whether he was willing to delay the medical device excise tax portion of the Affordable Care Act.

President Obama’s response was direct, and relied on the concept (previously espoused by numerous supporters of the legislation) that the act of insuring more Americans would in fact boost the bottom line of medical device companies by creating more demand for their products. Obama framed the tax as the medical device industry being ‘willing to do a little bit’ to increase the number of ‘new customers’ being insured by the Affordable Care Act and therefore eventually recoup the 2.3 percent tax over the course of time. At no point during the exchange did the two men discuss the potential job cuts that could sweep across the medical device industry as a direct result of the excise tax, nor did they examine its impact on smaller players in the industry.

Next Steps

Benjamin Hunting
Aptiv Solutions Blogging Team

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