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The New Jersey Life Sciences Vendors Alliance (NJLSVA) is a coalition of businesses, individuals and academia who provide goods and services to New Jersey’s life sciences companies.

The NJLSVA was founded to educate suppliers on trends in industry procurement and public policy that affects the life sciences industry.

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Medical Device Industry Works Hard to Repeal Obamacare Tax

Washington, DC, January 27, 2015 The Washington Post reports that Tom Till eyes the morning’s e-mail to see who’s angling to hire his students.  A local employer, which had already hired 23 people in less than a year, says it needs three more to help make the artificial hips, knees and other devices manufactured in Warsaw, Indiana, the self-proclaimed “Orthopedic Capital of the World.”

“Everyone is going gangbusters,” said Till, who oversees an advanced manufacturing program at Ivy Tech Community College in this lake-dotted region two hours north of Indianapolis.

The Post reports that Till’s bullish view of the medical device industry — he says he can’t crank out graduates fast enough — contrasts sharply with what industry lobbyists are telling lawmakers in the nation’s capital.

Industry representatives state that a 2.3 percent tax on the sale of medical devices put in place two years ago by the Affordable Care Act has already cost more than 30,000 jobs.

The tax, projected to bring in $29 billion over 10 years, is the industry’s share of the cost of expanding health coverage to millions of Americans.

Other industries expected to gain business from the health law, including hospitals, insurers and drug­makers, also are paying a share of its costs, but none has been as vocal in opposition as the device makers, which have poured $30 million a year into lobbying Congress since 2010.

With Republican leaders citing repeal of the tax as a top priority, the industry may finally achieve its aim. The effort also has the support of at least a handful of Democrats from districts with large concentrations of device makers, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

According to the Post, last November, the Congressional Research Service reported the device tax had “fairly minor effects,” with output and employment dropping by “no more than two-tenths of 1 percent.”

The industry’s lobbying arm, AdvaMed, fired back, saying the report was flawed because it assumed the cost of the tax would be passed along to customers.

However, that has been difficult to do because hospitals are seeing their own reimbursements drop and are pushing back against price increases.  McGorman of Bloomberg Intelligence said prices across the industry have fallen 1 to 3 percent annually.

For the full Washington Post, click here.