Tax Breaks to Lift Area Medical Device Businesses
Friday, December 18, 2015
Source: Times Union
Congress passed legislation on Friday that gave a big boost to Capital Region medical device companies by temporarily freezing a tax that helps fund the Affordable Care Act. The legislation was part of $622 billion in tax breaks, passed alongside a $1.1 trillion spending bill. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the legislation into law.
Trade groups characterize the tax as harmful to research, development and continued medical progress. Supporters of the tax, however, say its revenue is crucial to funding the Affordable Care Act, and that greater access to health care and enrollment in insurance plans would fuel the medical device industry, counteracting the tax setback.
Upstate New York's concentrated medical device market makes the legislation particularly important to area businesses and the state's economy as a whole, said MedTech president Jessica Crawford.
MedTech, a New York trade association, will next advocate for a full repeal of the tax beyond the two-year freeze, Crawford said.
Lobbying from the medical device and supply industry was more than $32 million in 2014, the highest amount since at least 1998, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Crawford said the expected benefits from the freeze will help make the case for a full repeal.
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