Alexander: Medical Device Tax Repeal “Critical To Creating Jobs” For Memphis And Tennessee

Thursday, May 02, 2013

At a press conference in front of Onyx Medical Corp., U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.) said he’d push for a repeal of the medical device tax and press the Food and Drug Administration to lessen regulatory burdens on the industry, calling it “critical to creating jobs for Memphis and Tennessee.”

“This burdensome tax on medical devices is already costing Tennesseans jobs and hurting a crucial Memphis industry by increasing costs, stifling investment and ultimately driving up prices for patients in need of medical help,” Senator Alexander said. “Memphis has become an important center for medical devices, and the industry ranks as Tennessee’s top export. Repealing the Obamacare tax on medical devices – devices that save lives – is one of the most important things we can do to create good jobs for Tennesseans.”

The medical device tax, passed as part of President Obama’s health care law, places a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device manufacturers. Tennessee’s Department of Economic and Community Development has identified medical device manufacturers as among the state’s most important exports, with U.S. Census data showing its $2.1 billion in 2012 ranks at the top of all state exports by dollar value.

Senator Alexander is a cosponsor of legislation to repeal the tax. He also supported a successful amendment to the Senate budget resolution in March, which demonstrated bipartisan support for repeal.

Senator Alexander’s remarks came before a tour of Onyx, which makes materials such as screws and wiring for medical devices. The senator also discussed the importance of battling over-regulation of the industry by the Food and Drug Administration, and working to make sure sequester cuts don’t negatively impact the use of federal money that the industry is still paying in full.

While Onyx does not pay the medical device tax, its customers that make medical devices do, putting price pressure on Onyx to deal with the cost of the tax and harming investment in its industry.

Senator Alexander said, “Onyx is a success story in an industry facing hardship at the hands of Washington.”

He cited as another example Smith & Nephew, a medical device manufacturer with a Tennessee presence that has announced it laid off nearly 100 employees in Tennessee and Massachusetts as it deals with the tax. The Medical Device Manufacturers Association has also reported thousands of lost jobs in the industry.


Dr. Benjamin Miller Joins Parkridge Health System

Orthopaedist Benjamin Miller, M.D., has joined the medical staff of Parkridge Health System.  Dr. Miller earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Freed-Hardeman University and a Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham. He completed a residency in Orthopaedics at the University of Arkansas and a Sports Medicine fellowship ... (click for more)

Erlanger Offers Classes And Events For September 1-14

Erlanger offers online childbirth education class.  The online class is an easy-to-understand interactive program that includes more than 70 videos, animated illustrations, downloadable PDF files, review quizzes and information specific to Erlanger East and Erlanger Baroness birthing services.  By choosing the online childbirth program, participants will have access to ... (click for more)

Jury Finds In Favor Of Texas Sheriff In Suit Brought By Chattanooga Photographer

A Federal Court jury on Friday found in favor of a Texas sheriff and his chief deputy who had been sued by a Chattanooga photographer. The jury in the courtroom of Judge Curtis Collier awarded no damages to Donna Johnson. In his closing argument after a two-week civil trial, attorney John Anderson said, "This is about the Fourth Amendment." Attorney Anderson represented Ms. ... (click for more)

Justin Wilkins Selected As Deputy Chief Of Staff For Mayor Berke

Native Chattanoogan Justin Wilkins will serve as Mayor Andy Berke's deputy chief of staff, it was announced Friday. Mr. Wilkins has spent the last several years serving as the Tennessee state director for multiple advocacy and electoral organizations, including Organizing for America and Organizing for Action. Prior to that, he worked as project manager at Profit Plans LLC ... (click for more)

Mackey Should Be Thankful For The State Troopers On Highway 153

This is in response to a statement made by Warren Mackey at the commission meeting.  His question was to the mayor regarding the state troopers writing tickets on Highway 153, saying they were on a rampage.   It is apparent that Mr. Mackey doesn’t travel this highway.  His only concern was that the ticket money was going into state funds and not into county funds. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Must-Read For Parents

If you have a child or if you love one, what you are about to read could be one of the most important lessons in your life. I have a great friend in Dallas – Sandy Pohfal – who regularly shares stories with me that are moving, inspirational or important. This is all three. This story was written by a celebrated author, Christie Craig. She has written hundreds of articles for ... (click for more)