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.


Corker, Colleagues Pledge Support For Fight To Contain Ebola Outbreak

The United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution offered by Senator Bob Corker, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) recognizing the severe threat posed by the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and the support provided by the United States government, ... (click for more)

Corker Congratulates Bethany Christian Services On Being Named An “Angel In Adoption”

Senator Bob Corker congratulated Bethany Christian Services of Chattanooga on being recognized as a Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute 2014 Angel in Adoption for their advocacy of adoption issues. “Bethany Christian Services of Chattanooga has impacted the lives of countless families through their tireless dedication to finding children permanent, loving homes, and ... (click for more)

Man Charged With Killing 3-Year-Old Takes Own Life In County Jail

Justin Dale Bradley died in the Hamilton County jail Saturday morning. Notification was received from the Hamilton County 911 Center at   12:50 a.m. ,   regarding an inmate found unresponsive.   Jail personnel found the male inmate unresponsive in his cell and initiated C.P.R. while notifying Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services. ... (click for more)

Democratic Chairman Roy Herron Announces He Will Not Run For 2nd Term

Democratic Party Chairman Roy Herron announced Saturday at a meeting of the Tennessee Democratic Party State Executive Committee that he would not be seeking a second term as party chairman. “I have been blessed to serve as chairman these past two years, and I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all of the executive committee members, party officials, staff members, and friends ... (click for more)

You’re Right With Lamar

One of Tennessee’s favorite sons, Davy Crockett, coined an oft-used phrase:  “Be always sure you’re right, then go ahead.” Being sure is quite important, but may be difficult in this election cycle. The Democratic nominee campaigning against Lamar Alexander is a man whose radio ads call for “change,” “fair” taxes and more jobs.  Sounds good, huh?   ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Okay … here we go. A number of readers have complained that I haven’t shared any jokes that my friends send to my email address so on a weekend when our Volunteers and Mocs are idle, let’s laugh a little:   I was sitting in a bar one afternoon with an old friend knocking back a few beers when he said, "You know, if we're not careful we'll end up like those two old drunks ... (click for more)