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A budget amendment sponsored by Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander to repeal the medical device tax was approved by the U.S. Senate Thursday night in a 79-20 vote.
Alexander proposed to repeal the medical device tax and replace the lost revenue with an elimination of subsidies on wind energy.
The 2.3 percent excise tax placed on medical device sales was a part of the Affordable Care Act.
In a news release, Alexander cited Memphis-based Smith & Nephew Inc.’s Jan. 31 announcement that it would be laying off 100 employees in Tennessee and Massachusetts as a result of the new medical device tax.
However, during the company’s full-year 2012 earnings conference call, Smith & Nephew CEO Oliver Bohuon called the layoffs a follow up of the company’s value plan, and said published Memphis media reports saying that the medical device tax was at fault for the layoffs were “just wrong.”
Medical devices companies make up two of the top five manufacturing companies in Memphis, according to MBJ research.
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