Obamacare’s Tax on Medical Devices is Already Killing Jobs and Driving Companies Overseas

Rob Port

A year from now a new tax on medical devices – everything from tongue depressors and stethoscopes to MRI machines – goes into effect as a part of Obamacare. Because nothing says “make health care cheaper” like taxing the devices used in that care.

Anyway, the tax is quite a large one and will nearly double the bill paid by medical device companies. Not surprisingly, in the lead up to the implementation of the tax, many medical device companies are cutting overhead and laying off workers or just plain leaving the country.

In November, citing the new tax, Stryker Corp. (SYK), whose products include artificial hips and knees, announced that it would let go about 1,000 of its workers. Earlier last year, Covidien Plc (COV), maker of surgical instruments, said it would lay off 200 workers in the U.S. and move production to Costa Rica and Mexico. It, too, cited the tax.

Other companies in the field have announced similar measures — or plans to expand production overseas but not in the U.S. — without mentioning the tax. The sluggish economy is clearly part of the explanation, but the medical-devices industry had been a relative bright spot within U.S. manufacturing, losing only 1.1 percent of its employees during 2007-2008 whilemanufacturing as a whole lost 4.8 percent. A study done for AdvaMed, a trade association for the industry, claims the tax could ultimately cost more than 45,000 jobs.

Medical-device companies employ more than 400,000 Americans. Their wages are higher than the national average. The U.S. is a net exporter of medical devices…

The article continues at SayAnythingBlog.

Also at SayAnything, Poll: Democrat Party Affiliation Falls To Lowest Level Ever Recorded

Related: Obama’s Push to Legalize Abortion in Kenya Broke U.S. Law

…The Obama Administration used $18 million in taxpayer funds to provide funding for a group pushing legalized abortion in Kenya violated federal law, an investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found.

The report by the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, shows at least one Obama grantee openly pushed to expand abortion in Kenya despite the Siljander Amendment, a longstanding, annually renewed law that prohibits U.S. tax dollars from being used to lobby for or against abortion in other countries….

Update:  Tongue-Depressor Tax Harms Jobs, Innovation: Ramesh Ponnuru

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