Lawmakers Approve Repeal of Medical Device Tax to Save Health Care Jobs

Photo of a medical device.

House lawmakers have passed a bill to repeal an upcoming tax on the medical device industry, legislation that many believe could help save tens of thousands of jobs for those with a career in health care

.

The 2.3% tax, which is scheduled to go into effect January 1, would help raise money to fund President Barack Obama's health care reform law. However, a recent study by the industry group AdvaMed found the new levy could cost 43,000 jobs for people with a variety of health care experience on their resumes, or about 10 percent of its workforce, The Associated Press reports.

It's going to cost jobs in our industry, AdvaMed lobbyist J.C. Scott told the news agency. For companies breaking even, he added, the tax "can push them to a place where they just can't move their business forward."

Lawmakers said that the pending tax would also hurt smaller companies, as well as major health care businesses in states such as Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Minnesota and California where the medical device industry is currently thriving.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment opportunities for biomedical engineers are expected to increase much faster than the average of other occupations, by 62%, through 2020.

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