I was humbled to receive in November the National Medal of Technology and Innovation at the White House for the development of life-changing medical devices. Traveling to our nation’s capital, I couldn’t help but think: There is no way I could have had the same impact if the tax on medical devices was in place when I got started over 50 years ago.
Simply put, the medical device tax is destroying job creation and innovation, and as a result, patient care is suffering.
Right now, countless engineers, doctors and innovators are passionately working to develop the medical technologies that one day will improve all our lives. The medical device ecosystem is a broad community of innovators.
In fact, 80 percent of medical device companies have fewer than 50 employees, and 98 percent have fewer than 500. These are the very innovators our communities and our elected officials need to drive economic growth and job creation.
The medical device tax has already led to the loss of thousands of good jobs. Some innovators have moved jobs overseas to address this tax. Others have frozen new hiring. This is why even in what many consider a broken Congress, there is broad bipartisan support for repeal.
Every day, I see firsthand the difficult choices innovators must make as a result of this ill-conceived tax. Perhaps worst of all, the medical device tax is helping cause a steep drop of investments in promising therapies.
When I practiced as a heart surgeon, I was only as good as the tools I had to help my patients. The medical device tax has led to devastating cuts to R&D, and this is depriving patients of the best of American medical innovation.
I have been blessed to be a part of an industry that is dedicated to improving the lives of patients. The medical device tax is a horrible policy that penalizes the very things America needs most: job creation, innovation and better patient care.
It’s time to put an end to this disastrous policy so that medical device entrepreneurs can do what America does best — innovate.
Tom Fogarty is a cardiovascular surgeon and founder of the Fogarty Institute for Innovation