Conflicting arguments abound on the device tax's merits

The medical device industry has certainly offered plenty of pushback over the 2.3% excise tax that's slated to begin in January. But should medical device companies cover this? Glenn Coin, of the Syracuse, NY, newspaper The Post-Standard, attempts to address this with an opinion piece that leaves that question unanswered, in part, as he cites reams of conflicting information on both sides of the debate. On the one hand, he notes, the Obama administration continues to argue that the health law will expand medical overage to 30 million Americans, creating a legion of new customers who will generate device, diagnostic and equipment sales more than expected to make up for the tax. But the industry continues to say the tax is a killer of both jobs and innovation. While a recent industry funded study says the tax could kill 43,000 medical device-manufacturing jobs and push them overseas, he notes another study that concludes the exact opposite. Meanwhile companies, such as Welch Allyn and many other device giants, are either slashing jobs or pulling back on expansion, blaming the tax for their actions. Story