Medical-device makers have gotten hurt under Obamacare, with tax provisions hitting their bottom lines in an already tough economic environment. What will the future bring for the industry?
In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning and author of the special free report "Everything You Need to Know About Obamacare," talks with Motley Fool health-care bureau chief Max Macaluso about the state of the medical-device industry and the impact that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will have on it. Dan notes that diversified companies Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) and Stryker (NYSE:SYK) have largely avoided the negative impact of a 2.3% excise tax that Obamacare imposed on their revenue, posting gains of around 25% over the past year. But smaller players Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) and MAKO Surgical (UNKNOWN:UNKNOWN) haven't fared as well, with losses of 10% to 25% since this time last year.
Max and Dan discuss a number of factors explaining the disparity, only some of which have to do with the Obamacare tax. Controversy about Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci robotic surgical systems have weighed on the stock and also caused some collateral damage to MAKO as well, but another big problem has come from hospitals and doctors that are less willing to make major capital expenditures on medical equipment. Dan suggests that broadening your exposure beyond specialists such as Medtronic and Stryker to look at more diversified health-care giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) might help you dampen any negative impact from the Obamacare tax.