Framing the Issue - How the Medical Device Industry's Arguments Translated into Political Tools and Action

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Virginia Tech


The Medical Device Excise Tax (MDET) was developed as a funding source to help cover the cost of expanded health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The excise tax is a 2.3% tax on sales of certain medical devices and is paid by the manufacturer of the device (Bolka, 2014). This thesis reflects on the theoretical and conceptual framework that the analysis is based on, including concepts such as success/failure, policy actors, and efficiency/equity. It underlines the importance of framing the argument in the policy making process by analyzing the four main arguments that are developed by the medical device industry including: innovation, jobs, patient care, and loss of global leadership. It also looks at the arguments that were translated into the actions, which were followed by the medical device industry: campaign contributions, lobbying, and interest groups. In conclusion, the importance of unofficial actors, their framing of the issues, and how that framing develops into action are recognized and understood.



medical, excise, tax, device