Darke County Chamber of Commerce
622 South Broadway, Greenville, Ohio 45331
P 937-548-2102 | F 937-548-5608
June 13, 2012
The Honorable Barak H. Obama
President of the United States
The Honorable Sherrod Brown
United States Senate, Ohio (D)
The Honorable Rob Portman
United States Senate, Ohio (R)
Subject: Support of H.R. 436 to Repeal the Medical Device Tax
The Darke County Chamber of Commerce strongly urges your support of H.R. 436, the "Healthcare Cost Reduction Act," aimed at repealing the medical device tax implemented as part of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Medical Device tax would impose a new $30 billion tax on medical device sales in the United States beginning in 2013. The tax will apply to products which improve the quality of life for millions of Americans, with products ranging from wheelchairs, pacemakers, hip replacements, and MRI's.
The Medical Device Tax has direct impact on Midmark Corporation, our Chamber Member, headquartered in Versailles, Darke County, Ohio. Midmark manufactures medical, dental, and animal health products and is the largest employer in Darke County. Midmark has domestic locations in Lincolnshire,
Illinois, Glasgow, Kentucky and Gardena, California. International locations include Ernee, France, Brook, UK, Barcelona, Spain, Quattro Castella, Italy, Mumbai, India and Hong-Kong, China.
The costs of a medical device tax go far beyond a dollar sign. At the end of the largest recession in decades, the medical device tax could threaten up to 43,000 U.S. jobs with wages that total $3.5 billion. The pending tax is unnecessary and should be eliminated to ensure that U.S. companies are able to continue to invest, create jobs, and grow.
This measure is not only a tax to the individuals who benefit from the use of medical devices; it is also a tax on American innovation. The new tax could stunt innovation by decreasing R&D investment by 10% per year through the year 2020, or approximately $2 billion. Medical technology is one of the only American manufacturing sectors that is a net exporter, exporting $5.4 billion more than it imports. However, this number has decreased substantially over the last decade, and with higher tax rates, this number risks further decline. These variables would slow medical advancements at a time when the American population is aging, and the United States could most benefit by its worldwide competitive advantage.
H.R. 436 would also repeal a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that restricts the ability of individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSA) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) dollars to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. This unnecessary limitation has forced some individuals to seek prescriptions for ailments that were previously treatable by OTC medicines, increased physician workloads as they dealt with increased calls for prescription drugs, and increased overall health care spending without any contributions to better health outcomes for patients.
Please support H.R. 436 to repeal the medical device tax, preserve Americans' quality of life, protect American jobs, and defend American innovation.
Mrs. Sharon Deschambeau
cc: Mr. Greg Blackmore
Chief Operating Officer
The Honorable John A. Boehner
Speaker, Congress of the United States
United States Representative (R)-8th District of Ohio
The Honorable John R. Kasich
Governor of Ohio (R)
Mr. Thomas J. Donohue
President and CEO
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Andrew E. Doehrel
President and CEO
Ohio Chamber of Commerce
Membership of Darke County Chamber of Commerce