Minn. medical device makers ready for health reformby Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care law doesn't change much for Minnesota's big medical device companies.
Analysts say most people getting pacemakers and other implantable devices were already insured through Medicare.
The expansion of health care coverage is funded in part by a tax on medical devices, but Morningstar medical device analyst Debbie Wang said companies have taken actions to offset the impact of the tax.
"Most of the medical device players, the established ones like Medtronic have been preparing for this day for a very long time," Wang said. "That's the reason they have been building new manufacturing plants in tax-advantaged off-shore locations, because they were hoping that would offset that excise tax."
The health care law calls for a 2.3 percent tax on devices such as hip implants and coronary stents. The tax takes effect next year and is expected to raise tens of billions of dollars over the next decade.