Medical device tax could hurt those least likely to afford it

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

A doctor examines a patients heart

Case in point, The Medical Device tax. I know what you’re going to say, the Prez “promised” no taxes if you make less than a certain earnings threshold. It appears that’s not exactly correct.

Just about anything can be considered a “medical device” if it is for human use. Section 4191 was added to the Internal Revenue Code by Section 1405 of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, in conjunction with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (jointly, the ACA). As far as I can tell, only eyeglasses, contact lenses and hearing aids are still exempt from the tax.

(This tax) “is a result of the Affordable Care Act that passed in 2010, and would apply to any expenditures of $10 or more made by device and drug makers to certain health care providers. …The $20 billion dollar tax was included in the Affordable Care Act that was signed into law in 2010. The amount is based on a 2.3% excise tax. The result will be devastating to innovation, patient care and job creation.”,-Device-Tax

The Academy of General Dentistry opposed this tax, as it would be a burden on those needing dental crowns, bridges, partials and dentures. To me, this would imply those persons who are older, and those who have not been able to afford dental care at an earlier age are most likely to be hit with the tax.

What else is included? It’s hard to find the answers. Do you need a hip replacement? Do you think your medical insurance will pay for the tax? I mean, after all, someone has to pay the tax. Most likely, it will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher insurance premiums, co-pays and deductibles. Perhaps it could become a path to rationed health care. Can’t afford the tax? No service for you!

On May 31, Mark Leahey, President and CEO of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA), issued the following statement regarding the House Ways and Means Committee vote on H.R. 436, the “Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2011:

“Today marks the first step towards repealing the 2.3 percent device tax, and we thank Congressman Erik Paulsen and all Members of Congress who are fighting on behalf of medical technologies and patient care.

“MDMA has long said that the device tax would hamper job creation and unfairly punish the dynamic American success story that is medical technology innovation.  The growing price tag of this onerous tax is further proof that it will lead to more layoffs, larger cuts to R&D and less innovation – a perfect storm of unintended consequences…. Simply put, the medical device tax will hurt manufacturing, stymie job growth and impede patient care, all at a time when we can least afford it.”

Contact your US House Representative and ask him or her to oppose the Medical Device Tax and support H.R. 436, the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2011. Find your contact at:

Sherry Regiani

About Sherry Regiani

Sherry Regiani is a noted speaker on motivation and professionalism. Some of the recent talks include: "Tough Economy or Terrific Practice?" - "How to be Lucky" and "The Power of Optimism". Her background is in dental health and nutrition, and she works part-time for her husband, David, in their Holistic Dental Practice in Michigan. Sherry has served as a staff and guest writer for newspapers, newsletters and magazines for over 30 years.