The owner of one of the top 50 LinkedIn user groups is flexing his muscle to try and repeal the medical device tax.
Joe Hage, a medical marketing communications professional and owner of the 107,001-strong Medical Devices Group on LinkedIn, has created no2point3.com, to urge people to sign a petition in opposition to the tax. No2point3 refers to the 2.3 percent excise tax that the government will be exacting from manufacturers starting 2013.
Medical device makers oppose this tax because they feel it places an undue burden on the industry, stifles innovation at smaller companies and would lead to jobs being shipped overseas. Others find those arguments to be tenuous. While companies like Stryker have blamed the tax for job cuts, others like Medtronic view it as a cost of doing business.
For Hage, it presents an opportunity to make a mark on a topic that resonates with the Medical Device Group.
“If we did something together, could it make a difference?” Hage said of his motivation to create no2point3.com.
The website, draped in red, white and blue, almost has the feel of a campaign website. Using audio and video, it urges people to sign a petition that was circulated by the Medical Device Manufacturers Association last year and sent to Congress. That letter yielded only 400 signatures.
Hage has a much more ambitious number in mind — 25,000. Since the site launched earlier on Tuesday, 242 signatures have already been collected.
“It gets you noticed at the White House,” Hage said.