Rep. Erik Paulsen’s bid to end Obamacare Medical Device Tax is expected to be signed into law this year
Minnesota has a vibrant medical device industry, and a history of start-ups that grow into major industry players like Boston Scientific, St. Jude (now Abbott) and Medtronic. Many of these companies were started or grown in the Third Congressional District represented by Erik Paulsen. He has worked across the aisles to suspend and repeal the Obamacare tax since its inception.
According to the Star Tribune:
“The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to kill a sales tax on medical devices that the medical-technology industry in Minnesota and around the country have battled for nearly a decade.
Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen of Minnesota’s Third District introduced the stand-alone repeal legislation. The bill had 277 cosponsors and a seal of approval from the White House going into the vote. It eventually passed 283-132.
“I wanted to tee things up with a strong vote,” said Paulsen, who believed the tax, designed to help pay for the Affordable Care Act, hurt innovation and penalized small device makers. “I feel more optimistic than ever [about Senate passage].”
The 2.3 percent tax, which became effective in 2013, already took in $5 billion in three years, before getting suspended. The concern is that the tax will hurt small companies and suppress innovation and startups, with the attendant loss of jobs and economic growth.
Jeff Mirviss, an executive vice president at Boston Scientific and president of the company’s Twin Cities-based peripheral interventions business, said uncertainty about the tax has taken a toll.
“Repeal will allow us to continue to focus on driving innovation without the tax looming while we navigate the rapidly changing health care environment for the next 18 months,” Mirviss said.
The repeal effort has enjoyed bipartisan support from Minnesota Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and is expected to get a warm bipartisan reception in the Senate. (Al Franken, who is credited with providing the 60th vote needed to pass Obamacare, also favored repeal before being forced out of the Senate by the DFL during the #metoo purge.)
Here is Sen. Klobuchar, who also voted for Obamacare: “This is an additional tax on manufacturing, innovation and research at a time when we need manufacturing to be strong,”
[Query: When do we not need manufacturing to be strong?]
According to the Strib, action in the Senate and a signature by the President is expected by the end of the year. If the vote does not occur, the tax will remain suspended through 2019. This is good for Minnesota and the country.
You can read the article here.