Safeguarding Medical Innovation

Originally implemented in 2013, the Medical Device Tax cost manufacturers billions each year – money that had to be diverted from investment in research or ultimately passed on to consumers through higher health costs. However, many patients are unaware of the tax’s existence and its consequences for innovation of live-saving technologies. Without a constituency for the issue, Congress had little motivation to take meaningful action, instead delaying the tax’s implementation and kicking the can down the road, again and again.

Making the Case Against the Device Tax

Making an emotional case for repealing a 2.3% excise tax meant demonstrating patients cared about the issue without losing focus of the compelling, data-driven arguments for why this was bad policy. Enter Right Scan Right Time, an integrated public affairs campaign that made the case for repeal of the medical device tax through grassroots outreach, targeted social media engagement, influencer outreach and earned media placement. Schmidt Public Affairs worked with a leading think tank to release a new whitepaper reiterating why the device tax is bad policy. This material was leveraged into op-ed content and talking points for patient advocates as part of in-person advocacy training prior to Capitol Hill meetings. Liberal and conservative thought leaders were also engaged on the issue and Republican, Democrat, analytical and emotive arguments were all published and shared demanding repeal.


On December 21, 2021, President Trump signed a permanent repeal of the medical device tax into law. The measure, which was included in the government’s year-end spending package, enjoyed wide support from lawmakers of both parties.