Posted 15 January 2018
By Zachary Brennan
Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) re-introduced a bill from 2015 last week that would permanently repeal a 2.3% medical device tax that was delayed for two years but took effect at the beginning of this year.
The re-introduction of the bill, originally included in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), highlights how many device companies are in Massachusetts. And similar to the 2015 legislation, the Massachusetts Democrats are looking to pay for the repeal by ending tax breaks and closing certain loopholes for oil and gas companies.
Robert Coughlin, president and CEO of MassBio, said in a statement that he supports the bill and that there are 480 device companies in Massachusetts, accounting for 14% of the state’s exports.
The bill from Markey and Warren also shows the bipartisan nature of the issue as just before the holiday break, House Republicans pushed to delay the tax by five years.
Medical device industry group AdvaMed has said the tax could cause jobs to be lost. According to a Congressional Research Service report from January 2015, which AdvaMed called “fundamentally flawed,” the brunt of the tax, which took effect in January 2013 and was suspended in 2016 for two years, likely fell on consumers.