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

Thursday, May 2, 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.



VIDEO: New Hospice Care Center

A new Hospice Care Center has moved across from Erlanger Health System on 3rd Street. It will open  on Monday . (click for more)

State Representatives Gerald McCormick And Ron Travis To Serve On Wellness Caucus

State Representatives Gerald McCormick and Ron Travis announced Wednesday that they will serve on a Wellness Caucus created by members of the Tennessee General Assembly and in collaboration with the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness.   The caucus is chaired by State Representative Ryan Williams and Senator Bo Watson. It consists of 37 members from both the House ... (click for more)

3 People Shot Early Saturday Morning; 1 Is Killed; 2 Victims Are Known Gang Members

Ladarius Cross, 28, Terrance Careathers, 26, and a juvenile were shot early Saturday morning. Cross was killed.   Chattanooga Police responded to a motor vehicle crash at 5:16 a.m. in the 1400 block of Roanoke Avenue.   Upon arrival, Chattanooga Police Officers located the single vehicle crash with two people suffering for apparent gunshot wounds. The driver, ... (click for more)

Longest-Serving County Official Knowles Is First In Line To Sign Up For New Term

Bill Knowles is one of the longest-serving officials in Hamilton County history, and he's not through yet. County clerk since 1974, he was the first in line on Friday morning to pick up his petition for re-election. Then he beat everyone back with the completed form. Mr. Knowles said, "I ran in 1974 on a campaign of ending the long tag lines. We put in a tag by mail system ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Should Be Problem Solvers Around The City

Re: Roy Exum’s “Stay, Signal Mountain, Stay”  Well this article is something to think about. I think the split could go either way, and Signal Mountain schools would still flourish, as they have done for the past several years. What I'm worried about is why Signal Mountain has not yet had the guts to go be problem solvers at Howard, or Tyner, or Central. Why do ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The School Board Bullies

When the good people of Signal Mountain join with their loved ones to give thanks for many, many blessings on this hallowed Thursday, you can bet the Hamilton County Department of Education will be on nary a list. For the past year a diligent advisory committee has studied the feasibility of forming its own school district and exactly one week prior to Thanksgiving, the misguided ... (click for more)