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  • House Hearing: Obamacare Threatens American Medical Innovation

    In his State of the Union address, President Obama emphasized the need to focus on innovation, job creation, and global competitiveness as part of a strategy to “win the future.” Unfortunately, by signing Obamacare into law, the White House has endangered these very things.

    Until now, the United States has been the world leader in medical innovation, but this is by no means a given for the future. Due to burdensome, time-consuming regulations, medical innovation faces an uphill battle in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken note of this and just this week released a white paper proposing a new approval pathway for medical devices that would accelerate the process and reduce costs for medical device companies. Unfortunately, at the same time that the FDA is taking steps to encourage future innovation, new taxes under Obamacare will further diminish the United States’ competitiveness in the industry.

    In a recent hearing, Representative Joe Pitts (R–PA), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, remarked that companies in European markets “are able to make their products available to patients faster and at a significantly lower cost.” Josh Makower, founder of six independent medical device companies, told the committee, “as medtech hurdles have climbed and available funding has declined, device companies are considering alternative strategies that are less U.S.-dependent.”

    Rather than wait on the FDA—whose approval process Makower described as unpredictable, non-transparent, inconsistent, and slow—American companies considering the European market first, where new products can be approved two years faster. As companies move the development of their products overseas, they take American jobs with them. The medical technology industry represents over 2 million jobs. During a time of 9 percent unemployment, the U.S. can’t afford to lose them.

    While the FDA takes action to accelerate the approval process by loosening regulations for medical device makers, Obamacare places additional barriers on innovation by levying a new 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices.

    The American Action Forum’s Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Michael Ramlet, and Cameron Smith explain in a recent paper that, as “businesses juggle the potential for higher interest rates or higher taxes, these medical costs will translate to higher insurance premiums, further increasing the cost of operating a business in the United States.”

    The life sciences industry plays an especially significant role in the state economy of Massachusetts, where companies have already signaled that they may consider moving jobs elsewhere. Even Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D), an Obamacare supporter, has signaled concern with the effects of the new law on his state’s economy. Senator Scott Brown (R–MA) has warned, “For some of these companies, [the tax is] their entire net profit. That’s jobs, it’s R&D, it’s a whole list of other things. It’s not a necessary tax.”

    If the United States is going to remain the global forerunner in medical innovation, serious change is needed. The federal government needs to support, rather than impede, development. But even as it seeks to do this, new taxes on the industry under Obamacare will not only slow medical innovation in the United States but force it—and the jobs it has created—overseas. This is hardly a recipe for “winning the future.”

    This post was co-authored by Amanda Rae Kronquist.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to House Hearing: Obamacare Threatens American Medical Innovation

    1. Pingback: House Hearing: Obamacare Threatens American Medical Innovation

    2. Bobbie says:

      Please repeal this threat to our lives. The affordable health care act doesn't exemplify America or Americans. The affordable health care act intentionally holds back and diminishes everything of significance regarding innovation regarding medicine and personal health, seems like a death sentence?

      It's obvious what is being done here. The President has no interest in America's interests as the affordable health care act is revealing corruption on a frequent basis. It's unconstitutional and the President neglects his expected duties while he continues to burden with his unconstitutional law.

    3. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Kathryn I am so lucky to have Heritage Foundation! These details are so important to prove my points about the Progressives doing exactly opposite what they say. There is a Junk Medical Agenda, it involves the complete Government take over of Health Care in America. I'd be shocked if the effects of Obamacare didn't drive more American Industries over seas! I know Progressives have evil intent, they are actually destroying our Representative Democracy. I would swear to God that Obama and his gang fully intend to destroy American Industry. Now, look at this!

      It is important to realize that the abominable Health Care completely unaffordable Law gives the Administrative Agencies the power to Fine, Fee and Penalize any and every Health Care Provider. Million dollar fines! The whole thing is Unconstitutional but the crazy left wants to keep it! Why? So they can destroy any Provider they want! No doubt they will focus on the Loyal Opposition. What kind of crazy sorcerer would want this kind of Power?

      I love America! She is that answer to thousands of years of prayer! And look how willing Progressives are to destroy her! Liberty is what every sane person wants. Why have we got something approaching Totalitarian Communism come down from Washington? Look guys! I know Slick Willie proved the futility of Impeachment, but look who wrote the Articles? DINOs and RINOs! It was a plea bargain, one Charge, Lying. Golly! Clinton purged the Justice Department! Crazy Abuse of Power everywhere evident! He Abused the FBI to get dirt on the Loyal Opposition! He gutted the CIA! I call Clinton the First Black Ops President! A puppet of the One Worlders!

      At some point it is a High Crime for a Republican House to go along with the literal destruction of America. If we don't Impeach it is a betrayal. We have Unconstitutional Forms of Government coming into being! Right now! If we don't Defund them we Conservatives are Complicit!

    4. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      Unfortunately, I think this is one of the reasons why Obama wanted this law, other similar laws and their ensuing regulations…to move jobs overseas even as he browbeats and excoriates companies that move jobs overseas. He may not have had any executive experience prior to becoming POTUS, but there is simply no way someone could not know this would happen. He understands the nature of business, capitalism and mankind…and thoroughly despises it.

    5. Rochelle, Colorado says:

      The innovations of the health care system is intimately married to the care available in many medical centers across the USA! To force these companies out to other countries will slow the pace of our new discoveries. We were starting to win on several fronts: Cancer, Heart Disease, Stroke, Diabetes. Many hospitals up to know were involved in research. "Is there evidence that x treatment affects y condition positively?" Up until Obamacare medical care has been improving in many fronts.Much of this will be difficult if the law is not repealed. There are many unintended consequences!

    6. Diana Brown, Illinoi says:

      This law is unconstitutional and our President is not even listening to the judge when he gave his ruling. The President does not care about our rule of law because his policies truly are pulling our country down. He needs to be stopped and we need to VOTE him out of office along with his socialistic policies. God Help Our Country.

    7. Pingback: House Hearing: Obamacare Threatens American Medical Innovation | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. « JHPPL News and Notes

    8. Pingback: Why Would Anyone Support ObamaCare? « American Elephants

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