How Obamacare Hits Industry and Threatens Jobs

March 30, 2010 03:10

“We believe that the tax will cost us somewhere between $5 million and $10 million a year,” says Richard Packer, Zoll’s chairman and CEO. “Our profit in 2009 was $9.5 million.”

by Byron York via

The people at Zoll Medical Corp. saw a ray of hope in January when Scott Brown was elected senator from Massachusetts. Located in Chelmsford, 30 miles outside of Boston, Zoll is the nation’s leading manufacturer of heart defibrillators, which save the lives of thousands of heart-attack victims each year. Back in January, as the Senate race was raging, both House and Senate Democrats wanted to impose a crippling new tax on the makers of medical devices, Zoll included, to help pay for Obamacare.

The total tax on the industry would be about $2 billion a year, or $20 billion over the next decade. Companies watched nervously as lawmakers pushed ahead, first the House and then the Senate. But then Brown was elected on the promise to be the crucial Republican vote to stop healthcare reform. For Zoll, things were looking up.

Not anymore. Democrats regrouped, pushed the legislation through Congress, and now the new tax is law. And that means Zoll and other medical-device makers could be headed for hard times.


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