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CNN Money reported Jan. 6 that many doctors across the U.S. are living with an embarrassing secret. They’re going broke. This includes not only family physicians but also cardiologists and oncologists. Many are quitting their practice altogether. About half the doctors in the country are in private practice. So, a cash crunch—often brought on by ObamaCare demands—steals a vital health source from many communities. Dr. William Pentz, 47, a cardiologist in Philadelphia, for example, said he and his partners had to “tap into their personal assets to make their payroll.” Pentz said recent “steep cuts in Medicare reimbursement for cardiovascular services…have taken a substantial toll on revenue.”
One of the superfluity of regulations tucked in the ObamaCare law was a new tax on medical devices–ranging from imaging machines to tongue depressors. Although the tax will be collected beginning next year, it already is having an effect on job loss. Stryker Corp., whose products include artificial knees and hips, has announced it would have to fire about 1,000 of its employees because of the tax.
Under reasonable assumptions, the tax could result in job losses in excess of 43,000 and employment compensation losses in excess of $3.5 billion, according to a study conducted by AdvaMed, an industry trade association. Earlier, a manufacturer of surgical instruments, Covidin Plc, said it would let go 200 workers in the U.S. and move its production to Mexico and Costa Rica to escape the new tax.
Other medical device companies have made similar announcements, according to a Bloomberg.com story Jan. 2. Medical device companies employ more than 400,000 Americans. The United States is a net exporter of medical devices.
Even though the tax on medical devices won’t be levied until next year, it is certainly having an impact.
While the Democrats can glow with optimism at the 200,000 employment increase in December, the economy is still staggering from the roughly 9 million jobs lost since the beginning of the Great Recession. Moreover, many lost jobs sadly will never come back.
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