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Senate Finance Health Subcommittee Holds Critical Hearing on Medical Device Tax

222Guest Post from Robert E. Harbaugh, MD, FAANS (left)
AANS President
Hershey, PA
Nathan R. Selden, MD, PhD (right)
CNS President
Portland, Oregon

Today, the Health Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance held a hearing on the impact of the medical device tax on jobs, innovation and patients. All of organized neurosurgery commends the committee for taking this is a critical step to repealing this detrimental tax.

Created by the Affordable Care Act, the medical device tax is a 2.3 percent excise tax that applies to the gross sales of medical device products. This tax imposes over $30 billion in new taxes and is adversely affecting medical innovation and patient care. In fact, during the hearing, the public heard moving testimony from a cancer patient who explained how this tax could impact access to lifesaving technologies.

It is for this every reason, repealing the medical device tax is among neurosurgery’s top legislative priorities and we applaud the bipartisan efforts of Congress to abolish this arbitrary tax, which is ill-advised and ultimately will negatively impacts our patients.

According to a recent study published by the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), as many as 195,000 jobs may be lost due to the tax, either through layoffs or forgone jobs that would have been created.

Simply put, our healthcare system needs innovation to improve patient care and save lives. Instead, this tax stifles innovation and reduces patient access to new lifesaving technologies. To this end, the AANS and CNS have endorsed both S. 149, the “Medical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act,” and H.R. 160, the “Protect Medical Innovation Act.”

Neurosurgeons stand ready to help repeal this tax and we look forward to working with the members of the Senate Finance Committee and other stakeholders to develop policy solutions to better support medical innovation and increase treatment options for our patients.

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