The med-tech tax repeal movement gains momentum

November 4, 2011 by MassDevice staff

Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen gains support for his attempts to repeal the 2.3 percent medical device tax prescribed by President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Updated Nov. 11, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. to reflect higher number of signers.

Erik Paulsen

Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.)

Rep. Erik Paulsen's (R-Minn.) ongoing effort to repeal the medical device tax seems to be gaining momentum. 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed on to his bill as of today, legislative assistant Katie Meyer told MassDevice in an email. That's the minimum number of votes a bill need to pass the House.

Paulsen has said that the tax, slated to be implemented as part of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act after 2013, will reduce medical technology jobs across the country.

"This may be the most anti-innovation piece of legislation to come along in some time," Paulsen said in a letter jointly written with Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) last month promoting the "Defend Medical Innovation Act," which seeks to block the 2.3 percent tax on medical device company revenues prescribed by President Barack Obama's health care overhaul last year.

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Paulsen and Gerlach wrote that the measure will be directly responsible for some 43,000 lost jobs, putting American global competitiveness in peril. Paulsen's home state of Minnesota is home to some of the largest device makers, including Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) and St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE:STJ).