Dr. Susan Berry
Stryker Corporation has announced that it will close its facility in Orchard Park, New York, eliminating 96 jobs next month. It will also counter the medical device tax in Obamacare by eliminating 5% of their global workforce, an estimated 1,170 positions.
Jon Stryker is heir to the Stryker Corporation, one of the largest medical device and equipment manufacturers in the world. Stryker’s grandfather was the surgeon who invented the mobile hospital bed. The company now sells $8.3 billion worth of hospital beds, artificial joints, medical cameras, and medical software every year.
Stryker, a member of the Forbes 400 list, was one of the top five donors to the Obama campaign. Having donated $2 million to the Priorities USA Action super PAC, Stryker also gave $66,000 in contributions to Obama and the Democrat Party.
Prior to the 2012 election, Stryker contributed millions to help Democrat candidates in his home state of Michigan. He also gave nearly $250 million to groups supporting gay rights, transgenderism, and the conservation of apes. In January, his Arcus Foundation donated $23 million to Kalamazoo College for an endowment to fund a center for social justice leadership.
Stryker’s corporation is part of an industry that has been a big loser at the hands of Obamacare. Having refused to get on board with the White House and the Senate Finance Committee when the law was being crafted in 2009, the medical device industry was punished with an excise tax of 2.3% of their revenues, regardless of whether they make a profit.
Republicans in the House have attempted to repeal the excise tax with a bill called the Protect Medical Innovation Act. The Democrat-led Senate, however, has refused to cooperate, saying that withdrawing the tax would cause Obamacare to come unraveled.
Last June, while the nation awaited the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of the individual mandate, Stryker Corp. announced that it was tying plans to slash 5% of its global workforce to the tax if the law was upheld. The company would do this as part of an effort to realize $100 million in annual productivity gains to offset the blow when the excise tax went into effect in 2013.
It seems Stryker Corp., like many other businesses in America, was waiting to see how the election turned out before making important decisions; it is now moving ahead with those planned layoffs in the wake of Barack Obama’s reelection.