WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, issued the following statement on the passage of the Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012 (H.R. 436):
"It has been just two years since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law, but Americans are already feeling the impact.
"And next year, yet another tax, the Medical Device Tax, will be imposed. This new tax will cost the medical device industry an estimated $3 billion and up to 43,000 American jobs.
"Lost in the debate, however, has been the cost that will be passed along to providers which supply the latest in medical technology used to treat America's wounded warriors and veterans. Prosthetics, pacemakers, and wheelchairs are just a few of the 'medical devices' included in the law. With combat amputations on the rise, as our Greatest Generation ages, and as more and more prescription drugs become over-the-counter (OTC), the costs due to these taxes will be passed through to VA.
"VA provides cares to approximately 42,000 veterans with limb loss, including more than 1,500 servicemembers of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. No cost should be spared for these men and women who have served and sacrificed so much on behalf of our nation. Yet, if the Medical Device Tax is implemented, critical tax dollars that would otherwise be used to increase medical care for veterans, such as mental health access, will be diverted to pay for these spiraling costs.
"This punitive excise tax will also hinder the ability of the companies that make prosthetics to develop new products to provide wounded warriors with greater mobility and quality of life.
"America's wounded warriors deserve the best. With today's repeal of the Medical Device Tax, we are giving them that opportunity."
Sean P Eagan
Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans