Locals petition to repeal med-device tax
Last Updated: 15:45 February 14, 2013
Nearly 130 Colorado signers - including people at Covidien plc's offices in Boulder and Sound Surgical Technologies LLC in Louisville - have put their names on the "No 2.3 percent. Kill the med device tax!" petition at www.no2point3.com.
About 1,800 employees work at Covidien's respiratory and monitoring solutions business unit and the company's surgical device unit in Gunbarrel. The corporate headquarters for Covidien (NYSE: COV) is in Mansfield, Massachusetts; the company posted $11.6 billion in revenue in 2011. Sound Surgical has an estimated 55 employees and posted revenue of $23 million in 2012.
The medical-device tax is expected to raise nearly $30 billion in the next decade to fund federal health-care reform. It went into effect as part of the Affordable Care Act, the reform legislation signed into law in 2010.
Proponents have argued that the medical-device industry stands to gain from new sales as health-care coverage expands during the 10-year time frame. Opponents say the tax will strain the capital-intensive medical-device industry.
Also signing the national petition so far were workers at Tensentric Inc., an industrial design and product development company in Boulder; Speed to Market Inc., a company in Nederland involved in production of a ventilator device; and Siva Therapeutics Inc., a company making a new cancer-related device. Medical-tech firm C.R. Bard Inc., a Murray Hill, New Jersey, company that bought Medivance Inc. in Louisville for $250 million in 2011, also is on the list. Medivance's products include a cooling blanket used by hospitals.
"We're early-stage, but we're concerned," said Len Pagliaro, founder of Siva Therapeutics.
The Colorado BioScience Association is lobbying to repeal the tax, and Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., is a co-sponsor of a bill to repeal the tax. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., has said he also supports repeal of the tax.
"CBSA is supporting the repeal of the federal 2.3 percent medical device excise tax," said April Giles, chief executive of the Denver-based trade group. "This tax will be especially burdensome on our state's small medical device companies and may threaten Colorado's status as the sixth-largest medical device sector in the nation."
Companies statewide have cut jobs or halted hiring because of the tax, Giles has said. Nationwide, companies could cut an estimated 43,000 jobs because of the tax, according to the no2point3.com website.
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