While there's a lot of talk in Washington about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, one health-care CEO says corporate tax reform would be more meaningful to his company.
"We're largely an American manufacturer, 60% of our sales are outside of the U.S.," explained Dow Wilson, CEO of Varian (VAR - Get Report) , a company that specializes in radiation oncology. "Most of our competitors are outside the U.S., with much lower tax rates. For us to be competitive long-term, we need to figure that out and solve that problem."
In its most recent quarter, Varian reported a 10% growth in global orders, but Wilson sees a large potential for stronger growth. "In the United States, about 50 [%] to 60% of patients get radiation as part of their cancer treatment. In China, that number is 18%. So we have a huge growth opportunity outside the U.S."
Wilson is optimistic that his business won't be impacted by changes in the ACA, because most cancer patients are on Medicare, which isn't a focal point of discussions on changing Obamacare. Wilson says that while there's still a lot of work that has to be done long-term regarding health-care reform, it is encouraging that in terms of cancer treatment, [because] outcomes are much better than they were in the past.
"We've made huge progress. Twenty-five, 30 years ago, if you were diagnosed with breast cancer as an example, the five-year survival rate was about 50%. Today the five-year survival rate is over 90%," said Wilson. "So we've made a huge impact as we transform the disease from a really scary thing, to a manageable chronic disease."