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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 3:40 pm

Hoosier lawmakers urge repeal of medical device tax

BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, and the six other Hoosier Republicans in the U.S. House have signed a letter calling for the continued suspension or outright repeal of the medical device tax.

They are among 179 lawmakers from both parties who signed the letter sent Tuesday to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

The 2.3 percent tax on the sale of medical devices took effect in 2013 to help fund the federal Affordable Care Act. Congress in 2015 passed a spending package, enacted by then President Barack Obama, that suspended the tax for a 2-year period that ends Jan. 1.

"The medical device industry is extremely important to northeast Indiana, and I strongly support a permanent repeal of the medical device tax," Banks said Wednesday in a statement. "This tax hurts consumers, restricts innovation and jeopardizes Hoosier jobs."

Banks' northeast Indiana district includes Warsaw-based orthopedic implant manufacturers and their suppliers.

The House members' letter said that the device industry employs 400,000 Americans. The letter cited a March policy brief by the center-right advocacy group American Action Forum contending the medical technology industry shed more than 28,000 jobs during the three years the tax was in effect.