Lobbying dollars pay off with medical device tax suspension

Money talks. That's the lesson of the two suspensions of the dreaded 2.3% medical device excise tax. Several prior attempts at ending the tax failed, apparently because Congress couldn't find a "pay-for," but the suspension was passed late last year in a comprehensive deal to avoid another government shutdown that contained several corporate tax cuts and lots of spending. Medtronic spent $10 million on lobbying in 2013 and 2014, while St. Jude Medical chipped in $795,000 toward the effort. AdvaMed was the most vocal critic of the tax, and spent more than $4 million in 2014 and 2015. The money spent lobbying against the tax will generate a handsome return on investment. In 2014, Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) paid $180 million in device tax payments, Medtronic ($MDT) paid $112 million, Covidien $60 million, Smith & Nephew ($SNN) $25 million and C.R. Bard ($BCR) $3.5 million. More