End the medical device tax, Emmer urges appropriators

Any upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending agreement should address the looming 2.3-percent excise tax on medical devices that’s set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) wrote in a Nov. 6 letter sent to leaders on the U.S. Senate and House Appropriations Committees.

“This is an issue of significant concern for the residents of the Sixth Congressional District and around my state,” Rep. Emmer said. “I hope my colleagues will resolve this in time to give certainty to the industry and the patients they serve.”

While the tax has been suspended since 2016, Rep. Emmer’s office said that 29,000 jobs were lost when it was briefly implemented between 2013 and 2015, with 25 percent of the tax shouldered by the more than 700 medical device companies located in Minnesota.

“Minnesota’s medical device community has produced life-saving devices, critical research, and has made the United States a world leader in healthcare technology,” said Rep. Emmer. “Patients deserve access to life-saving devices, and companies dedicated to providing these innovations should not have their hands tied by this onerous federal tax.”

In his letter, Rep. Emmer urged that appropriators include a suspension or permanent repeal of the Medical Device Tax in any final FY 2020 funding legislation.

“The inclusion of this provision, or lack thereof, will be a major factor in many members’ decision to support such an agreement,” the congressman wrote. “My home state of Minnesota — in addition to thousands of Americans — stand to face dire consequences if this issue is not addressed before December 31, 2019.”

In February, Rep. Emmer also authored the Medical Innovation Never Stops Act of 2019, H.R. 1362, which would permit medical device applications to be processed at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration during a lapse in federal government funding. The measure remains under subcommittee consideration in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.