Industry Lobbyists and Trade Groups
The key item on the 2013 agenda of medtech supporters was to repeal the reviled 2.3% medical device excise tax. Unfortunately, that repeal remains glaringly uncrossed off atop the to-do list. But it's certainly not for lack of effort. The scourge of the industry, the medical device tax continued to elicit noisy protest from industry, trade associations such as AdvaMed and the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA), and medtech-friendly politicians following implementation. The Senate even even went so far as to pass a symbolic resolution repealing the troublesome tax in March. Despite a slew of statistics around job losses and cries of innovation killing, however, the levy remains in place. In July, AdvaMed and other major trade groups announced that industry had hit a significant milestone by surpassing the $1-billion mark in payments to the IRS related to the device tax.
While the chorus of critics quieted down for a short time, the government shutdown in October created a new window of opportunity. The GOP, in conjunction with a few medtech-minded Democrats, attempted to use repeal of the medical device tax as a bargaining chip to end the shutdown; it didn't work. Dedicated to the cause, AdvaMed has confirmed that repeal of the medical device tax will be its primary challenge in 2014.