Has enough time passed for me to talk about the medical device excise tax again? Yes, it's still making headlines. Yes, companies are still unhappy and claim that all sorts of horrible things?price increases, layoffs, compliance expenditures ?will happen because of the tax. No, nothing has happened indicating that it will be repealed yet, and its implementation date of January 1, 2013 is looming.
One particularly interesting article that was passed along to me, however, involved another CEO of a medical device company defending the tax. Martin Rothenberg, who runs a speech therapy device company, says that the tax will only result in marginal price increases, have no effect on sales, and would not cause him to shift production for his company overseas. Rothenberg also proclaimed his home state's Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle's statement that the tax is a ?job killer? to be ?nonsense?, saying ?In claiming that it would significantly affect our sales, it is obvious that Buerkle is just using this issue to further a right-wing political agenda and attack the Affordable Care Act. Either that or that she didn't take the time to do the simple math needed to understand the effect of the act.? Rothenberg's statements mirror those of several other medical device company CEOs who have brushed off the impact of the tax.
Still though, the response to the tax remains overwhelmingly negative, and many companies have gone through layoffs and have cited the tax as the primary reason for these actions.
I guess we only have to wait another three months to find out if the tax really is going to be the death of the medical device industry as we know it.