Obamacare Medical Device Tax Kills 33K Jobs – How Will That Impact YOUR Healthcare?
It's being called the first "real-world" example of how Obamacare has affected real jobs, real people, and real customers. And this is just the beginning.
The Advanced Medical Technology Association. You may have never heard of it, but it's one of - if not the leading - trade association and advocate group for promoting and helping medical research and technology advancements in health care.
Many of the amazing devices you've seen in your own doctors office, or in the rooms at Trios Health Care, Kadlec, Lourdes and other medical centers came about because of such research, development and implementation.
AdvaMed, as the company is known, just released last week the results of a direct survey of medical technology and device manufacturers showing the Affordable Care Act is directly responsible for the loss of some 33,000 jobs.
Obamacare contains what is called a Medical Device Tax. It is a 2.3% tax paid by manufacturers of virtually every medical device used in diagnosis and treatment. From The Tax Foundation:
"Taxable medical devices are defined as any device “intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man or other animals . . . or intended to affect the structure or function of the body of man.” For instance, the tax would be levied on devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators."
This would include blood pressure monitors, MRI and x-ray machines, digital thermometers and on and on. AdvaMed talked directly to hundreds of it's member companies at the end of 2013. They found that A) at least 14,000 people were laid off due to increases expenses, and B) some 19,000 potential positions that they were going to fill were eliminated - they were never filled because the companies couldn't afford it. That's a total job loss (real and potential) of 33,000. The money spent on these jobs now will go to the Medical Devices tax.
AdvaMed also projected the potential job loss among suppliers and vendors of these products. They said for each direct manufacturing job lost, it could result in 4 medical device supplier-retail positions being eliminated. They estimate the eventual job loss down the road from these 33,000 manufacturing jobs coud be as high as 165,000!
Creation of new and improved medical devices that could save or prolong lives will suffer too, as AdvaMed says over 30% of respondents said they had cut back significantly on research and development due to the tax.
So what does this mean to you? It might not impact your medical care tomorrow, but certainly in the coming months and years - if the tax is not repealed - you will see an impact in the quality and amount of treatment you will receive. The new devices and technology that could perhaps save your life one day won't be around, because companies couldn't afford to make them. Shortages of medical devices could also be felt as well.
Just imagine going to the doctor, but they can't do an MRI or other test to determine what's at the cause of your illness because there's a shortage of machines, or there's no new technology to pinpoint what they think might be ailing you. It appears that's course towards which we are headed.