The Advanced Medical Technology Associations (AdvaMed) and the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance has asked President Donald Trump to repeal a tax on medical devices. They estimate that repealing Barack Obama’s tax on medical devices could create an additional 53,000 in the United States. While Republicans repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that Trump signed last month, the tax on medical devices went into effect as of January 1.

The 2.3 percent medical device tax was suspended in 2016 and 2017, but a repeal was not included in the Republican tax reform. Bill introduced by Republicans such as Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) Obamacare repeal bill, and the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill would have eliminated the medical device tax.

The Advanced Medical Technology Associations (AdvaMed) and the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance have warned that the medical device tax will cost the industry $20 billion over the next ten years. A medical device manufacturer, Boston Scientific, released a statement saying, “The reinstatement of the device tax threatens continued investment in programs like these.”

The American Action Forum (AAF) predicted that the economy will lose in excess of 21,000 jobs with the return of the medical device tax. The impact of repealing the tax, contends the AAF, may create another 53,000 jobs. AdvaMed asked the president to repeal the tax and to direct the IRS to grant medical firms “administrative relief” from the medical device tax and waive the bimonthly deposit requirement or penalties from late payments.

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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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