A 2.3% tax on medical devices as part of the Affordable Care Act was proven to have a detrimental effect on research, development and job growth—and its repeal was an important objective for the industry ahead of an expiring suspension of the tax in early 2020.
Schmidt Public Affairs was brought on by the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance to create bipartisan support for repealing the tax by making the case to lawmakers that the tax hindered innovation and jobs in the medical device industry.
Tactics for the campaign came down to research and earned media efforts, taking advantage of national third-party voices, sharing patient stories to humanize the industry, and promoting key messages online through social media channels like Twitter.
The campaign resulted in 14 op-eds on local economic impact, 11 third-party op-eds in national, Hill and trade outlets, and more than 6 million impressions for the #RepealDeviceTax hashtag on social media—and 20-plus members of Congress tweeting about repealing the tax.
After ten years, Congress permanently repealed the medical device tax in the year-end spending package that passed on Dec. 20, 2019. Of special note, H.R. 2207, The Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2019, had 226 cosponsors.