MITA Urges Congress to Permanently Repeal the Medical Device Tax


Device Tax Costs U.S. Jobs and Slows the Pace of Innovation, Delaying Patient Access to the Next Generation of Life-Savings Technologies and Treatments

WASHINGTON – The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) – the leading organization and collective voice of medical imaging equipment, radiopharmaceutical manufacturers, innovators, and product developers – today urged Congress to vote to permanently repeal the medical device tax and safeguard American innovation from harmful taxes.

“Congress must permanently repeal the medical device tax and put an end to a policy that hurts the economy, reduces job growth, and delays the development of innovative medical technologies and treatments,” said Patrick Hope, Executive Director of MITA. “A permanent repeal, rather than another delay, is what is needed to end uncertainty in the sector that has made it difficult for firms to plan investments in hiring and research and development.”

The medical device tax was originally enacted to help fund the Affordable Care Act and applied a 2.3 percent excise tax on the sale of medical devices that are fundamental to the practice of medicine both in diagnosing and treating disease. Though it has been previously suspended several times – most recently at the beginning of this year – the current suspension is set to expire on January 1, 2020, absent Congressional action.

According to figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce, when the device tax was in effect between 2013 and 2015, the medical technology industry lost 29,000 jobs. And a study by the Tax Foundation found that medical device manufacturers reduced their research and development spending by $34 million during the same period.

Repealing the device tax is expected to yield immediate benefits for the American economy according to a recent survey of leading medical device manufacturers. Nearly 70 percent of surveyed firms said repeal of the device tax would lead to more hiring of American workers and 60 percent said they would if repealed, channel resources currently slated to cover the tax into increased research and development spending.

The Protect Medical Innovation Act (H.R. 184), a bipartisan bill sponsored by Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Ron Kind (D-WI) would immediately and permanently repeal the tax. The bill already has 277 co-sponsors from both parties, more than that total votes needed for passage.

“The American medical technology industry is a true economic success story, providing jobs for more than 2 million people and investing nearly $10 billion in research and development annually to advance patient care around the world,” Hope continued. “Congress must act quickly to pass this bipartisan legislation, so patients can rest assured in knowing that investments in innovation are available to support the next generation of life-saving technologies.