Medical device companies continued to speak in support of the healthcare reform law even though the U.S. Supreme Court's decision
to uphold the law means the industry's excise tax still stands.
Starting in January, device manufacturers are required to pay a 2.3% excise tax on the sales of devices.
Industry trade groups have called for the repeal of the tax
, which will function as the industry's contribution to financing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The House of Representatives voted this month
to approve a bill that would repeal the tax. However, the White House has indicated that it would veto the legislation.
In a statement released in response to the high court's decision, the Advanced Medical Technology Association
said it plans to continue to work with policymakers “on both sides of the aisle” to repeal the tax.
“AdvaMed supported goals of healthcare reform consistent with our long-held principles,” AdvaMed President and CEO Stephen Ubl said. “We have consistently opposed the $29 billion medical device tax because of its damaging effects on economic competitiveness, jobs and the research and development needed to find tomorrow's treatments and cures.”
The Medical Device Manufacturers Association
said the decision “adds new urgency to repealing the medical device tax” and a repeal would be a “win-win for patients and jobs.”
Diana Lee, an analyst with Moody's Investors Service, said the excise tax is expected to affect device companies differently, in part depending on the types of products that the companies manufacture. However, she does not expect the excise tax to lead to rating action even though it may have a slightly negative credit impact.
“In our view, it's generally manageable across the sector,” she said.
In separate e-mailed statements, companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic and GE Healthcare highlighted steps they have taken to develop innovative products and payment models that are aligned with the intent of the law.
“Johnson & Johnson supported enactment of coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and we believe this law has the potential to help more patients gain access to high-quality, affordable care and innovative treatments,” the New Brunswick, N.J.-based company said.
“We began planning for implementation of the measures in the Affordable Care Act long ago,” Medtronic said. “We have been engaged in payment and delivery system reform changes that started before passage of the ACA in the private sector and that will continue. We remain committed to executing on our key strategies which will allow us to succeed in any environment.”
“GE Healthcare stands as a stable and stalwart partner for forward-thinking healthcare providers across the nation, and we will continue working to offer innovative technologies that make healthcare more accessible, affordable and patient-centric,” GE Healthcare said.