|View printer-friendly version|
|Medtronic Chairman and CEO Bill Hawkins Comments on U.S. Senate’s Revised Medical Device Industry Fee Proposal|
Company Applauds Leadership of Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Governor Tim Pawlenty and the Minnesota Congressional Delegation
Minneapolis – Nov. 19, 2009 – Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT), chairman and CEO Bill Hawkins today issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate’s revised proposal regarding a medical device industry fee released yesterday. This new proposal amends the Senate Finance Committee’s earlier proposed $40 billion fee on the medical device industry.
Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken were instrumental in reducing the size of the proposal in the Senate. Their efforts will serve to protect innovation and jobs while advancing meaningful healthcare reform.
Bill Hawkins’ statement follows:
Strong Supporter of National Healthcare Reform
We Are Making Important Contributions to Reform
“The Senate Finance Committee originally proposed a $40 billion manufacturer’s fee assessed over the next ten years, which would have brought our total industry contribution to more than $60 billion. The adverse impacts of such an “innovation tax” are real and directly affect our ability to carry on vital research and development activity, provide jobs, and to remain globally competitive.
“In real terms, the proposed $40 billion manufacturer’s fee would have meant nearly $300 million of additional annual costs to Medtronic’s business alone. With this additional burden, the United States would become the most expensive country in the world to develop and produce medical technology.”
Promising Senate and House Proposals
“We are encouraged by the progress in this area reflected in the new Senate proposal as well as the House healthcare reform bill passed earlier this month. The Senate and House proposals have substantive differences in how and when these taxes or fees would be applied to the industry, and we look forward to continued constructive work with members of both houses and the Obama Administration to craft a final proposal that meets the important tests of transparency, predictability, simplicity in administration and fundamental fairness.
“While we are encouraged by this progress, we should not lose sight that this approach will come with a cost to our healthcare system. This tax, though reduced, will invariably impact our investment decisions on new therapy development, jobs and global competitiveness. Most importantly, this can serve to diminish patient access to new, live-saving medical technologies. While we will work our level best to minimize these impacts, they are real, and they should not be overlooked.”
“We are also thankful to our industry colleagues, LifeScience Alley, and the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) for their collective work on this issue.
“The medical technology industry has driven almost unimaginable improvements in health care – extending life and improving the quality of care for millions of people here and around the world. We have long believed that medical technology is an integral solution to the problems that afflict our healthcare system. We thrive on the spirit of competition and innovation in America. We are proud to support healthcare reform and the new access it will bring for millions of people who have been uninsured until now.”