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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Charlie Dent: Do We Really Need to Tax Bedpans?

Oh shit!
Congressman Charlie Dent  has joined colleagues Erik Paulsen, Ron Kind and Jim Gerlach in introducing legislation to repeal the medical device taxcontained in the Affordable Care Act. This 2.3% excise tax on medical devices, from bedpans to prostehetic devices for returning veterans, took effect on January 1st. According to Congressman Paulsen, 10,000 people have already lost their jobs as a result.

“If you were looking for a textbook example of a blundering government enacting a law that raises health care costs, destroys jobs, curtails innovation and hurts patient care – you’d come up with the medical device tax,” Dent said.

Dent complains that the $30 billion tax is applied to the revenues of affected companies – not their profits. A new innovative company in the field would be heavily damaged as their available cash flow, vital to a start-up, is sucked up by this tax.

There are over 8,000 medical device firms in the United States, employing over 420,000 workers. Already, major firms in the field have announced either lay-offs or the end to planned expansions in the US. Dent predicts that as many as 43,000 jobs could ultimately be lost based on economic projections.

“Enough is enough,” said Dent. “This isn’t about opposing the President’s health care plan. This is about Congress working together in a bipartisan way to save American jobs.”

The 15th District represented by Dent hosts many biomedical companies whose continued growth and profitability are threatened by the tax. These include but are not limited to: Aesculap, Boas Surgical, Biomed, BBraun, Olympus, Orasure and Precision Medical Instruments.

“These employers provide good jobs that help feed, clothe and shelter hundreds of workers and their families and this pernicious tax threatens those jobs. This tax needs to be surgically removed from the Affordable Care Act,” Dent concluded.


Anonymous said...

How much does a bedpan cost to make and how the hell much does Medicare pay for it? Informed people look at their bills.

There seems to be more concern for a small tax on a medical device and less concern about the inflated price itself?

Are the same people clammoring about a bedpan tax the same people that opposed Medicare negotiating for prescription drugs. Seems like doublespeak to me.

Anonymous said...

A friend told me that their elderly parent received some physical therapy. The Providers statement listed the cost of that service along with the national average cost for the same service. Since the national average for the service was higher than the providers actual cost, the higher cost was being invoiced to Medicare.

Anonymous said...

Yeah people read your bills. With a disposable tongue depresser going for $5, the tax is the problem?

You teabaggers are the damn funniest creatires I have ever encountered.

You are willing to live in a world of shit but complain about the smell.

Jon Geeting said...

What a load of crap. The medical device industry is getting a windfall from all the new people with health insurance who will be buying medical devices. This tax does nothing more than capture back some of that windfall to pay for the insurance expansion. It's an important pay-for in the bill.

That's not to say none of the pay-fors shouldn't be up for debate, but if Dent wants to turn down $30 billion in revenue, he needs to say how he wants to replace it.

Anonymous said...

The medical device industry is getting a windfall? Please back that statement up with facts, mr geeting. Due to reduced Medicare reimbursements, hospitals are cutting back and downgrading products that they purchase from medical device companies. Even products that improve patient care are being removed from hospitals for cheaper alternatives. It is certainly not a windfall as evidenced by the revenues of many companies in this sector. They are all laying off employees. I know, because I work for one that is doing this. This tax is estimated to cost our company 50 million dollars annually. Not an increase in rate but a brand new tax. It is impossible to explain how this will lower health care costs.

Anonymous said...

Basic premise . . .

Add a tax to a manufacturer, supplier, retailer, etc. and the amount of that tax is PASSED DOWN to you, the consumer.

I laugh when people shout "Tax those corporations, they are making too much!" OK . ..