President Obama, in an interview with Frank Vascellaro of Minnesota’s news radio WCCO, said that he will not support a delay or repeal of the medical device tax. He said that because of the Affordable Care Act, health care companies are going to get 30 million new customers. “It’s going to be great for business and they’re doing really well right now and they’re going to get 30 million more customers as a consequence, so this additional tax essentially comes back to them as new customers,” he said. He said that doctors and hospitals also are “doing a little bit more” and that they all will benefit from the influx of the newly insured. “The idea is that when you have 30 million more people coming in, you’re going to make money, you can do a little more to help facilitate and make sure people are getting the health care they need,” he said. Recently, 18 Senate Democrats asked President Obama for a delay in implementing the 2.3 percent medical device tax.
In related news, the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) is estimating the device tax will cost the industry between $400 million and $667 million in expenses for training, consulting, and systems design. The survey of 81 AdvaMed members reported that 62 percent are planning layoffs or reduced hiring to offset the costs of the tax. “This is more proof that the medical device tax will do real damage and it ought to be repealed,” said AdvaMed’s CEO and President Stephen Ubl. The survey is available here.