Watertown Daily Times Letter to the Editor in response to the continued suspension of the medical device tax

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Source: MedTech Letter to the Editor (Advocacy)

Dear Editor,

Our region continues to grow as a leader in the 21st century economy, and it’s critical that we are creating the jobs that will strengthen upstate New York’s communities while harnessing the skills developed over our proud history in manufacturing.

This is why the two year suspension of the medical device tax was so important to medical technology innovators.  There is simply no justification to have an excise tax on innovators and entrepreneurs who are focused on creating the cures and therapies of tomorrow.   The device tax was diverting billions of dollars every year away from innovation, job creation and patient care.  This onerous policy was a major roadblock for our region’s vibrant innovation ecosystem, at a time when we need high tech manufacturing more than ever.

A recent letter’s argument (“Repealing the medical device tax the wrong plan”, February 27, 2017) simply doesn’t match up to reality.  The device tax destroyed thousands of good paying jobs throughout the United States, and the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce showed that this dynamic industry has lost nearly 29,000 jobs since 2010.  Medical technology innovation is one of the solutions to drive down health care costs and improve patient outcomes, and the device tax was a massive hurdle in accomplishing these important goals. 

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik led bipartisan efforts to suspend the medical device excise tax, and she should be applauded for her work.  Surveys show that as a result of the device tax suspension, 70 percent of companies increased hiring and created new jobs, and that there has been a 19% increase in research & development.  Immediately after the suspension became law, one local med tech innovator, AngioDynamics, announced it was moving forward with a new R&D project that resulted in new jobs as well.

We need more bipartisan leadership to put a permanent end to the medical device tax once and for all, and I’m confident that New York’s Congressional delegation will continue to lead the way.  Innovators and entrepreneurs in our region are ready to make the 21st century a New York success story, but we need the right policies in place to do so.

 

- Jessica Crawford, President, MedTech

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