B. Braun Executive Urges Medical Device Tax Repeal

The Morning Call reports that an executive from B. Braun Medical Inc. has urged federal lawmakers to undo a tax on medical devices.  According to the report, Bruce Heugel, the chief financial officer of B. Braun, recently appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance, Subcommittee on Health Care, and testified during a hearing to request repeal of the medical device tax.

The hearing, titled “A Fresh Look at the Impact of the Medical Device Tax on Jobs, Innovation, and Patients,” addressed the possibility of a tax repeal which has enjoyed support in the House and Senate.  During the hearing, Heugel stated that the tax has reduced industry profits by 29 percent, which means that companies have fewer dollars available to reinvest in new products:

We have a responsibility to our employees, shareholders and community not to end up like Bethlehem Steel,” Heugel said. “So when the new medical device tax takes away $33 million through 2015, we are forced to launch painful counter-measures.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D. Michigan), the sole Democrat at the hearing, asked how the device tax could be repealed in a way that would not add to the federal deficit.  According to the report, Heugel responded that the Affordable Care Act has provided more care, and that the companies providing that care already are being taxed, creating more tax revenue.

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