In the News

By Mark Walker

Freshman Rep. Scott Peters has joined a bipartisan group of 175 members of the House of Representatives calling for the repeal of a medical device tax that kicked in Jan. 1 as part of the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare.

Peters, D-San Diego, says he’s championing the concerns of manufacturers in San Diego in opposing the 2.3 percent excise tax on the sale or importation of medical devices. That’s something advocated by the man Peters defeated in November, Republican Brian Bilbray.

The tax is estimated to generate up to $30 billion over the next decade to help provide health insurance to all Americans. But the industry contends it could lose as many as 43,000 jobs nationwide and billions of dollars if the tax stays in place.

“We ought not to be in a position where we lose this kind of innovative, job-creating sector,” Peters said Friday. “This is something that could kill the golden goose.”

Alex Lukianov, CEO of NuVasive in San Diego, says his firm that makes products used in spinal surgery has had to reduce its research and development budget and put off hiring of as many as 200 people because of the tax.

Peters said he believes revenue from the tax can be found elsewhere in the federal budget.