Reps. Paulsen, Kind defend device tax repeal

March 29, 2013 by Arezu Sarvestani

Reps. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) and Ron Kind (D-Wisc.) defend efforts to repeal the medical device tax after a Washington Post editorial calls the recent Senate vote a "budget-busting mistake." coverage of the medical device tax

A bipartisan duo of U.S. Representatives criticized the editorial board of the Washington Post this week over an editorial that called the Senate's recent non-binding vote to repeal the medical device tax a "budget-busting mistake."

The editorial, published on March 22, depicted the device tax as the medical device industry's reasonable share of a healthcare reform measure that would bring health insurance to 27 million people, a measure that's projected to cost about $1.2 trillion over 10 years.

"Asking the medical device industry to chip in 2.5% of that doesn't seem unreasonable, given the $100 billion-plus sector's profitability – which is bolstered by federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid," the editors wrote.

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Last Thursday, the Senate voted 79-20 in favor of a bipartisan amendment to repeal the medical device tax. The non-binding measure, proposed by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), was part of the Senate's continuing budget resolution.

The article briefly targeted several of the tax repeal opposition's primary arguments, particularly that the levy, which is expected to generate about $30 billion in federal revenue over 10 years, will result in more than 40,000 lost U.S. jobs and that it will incentivize companies to ship those jobs overseas. The editors called those arguments a "doomsday scenario" which "falls apart on closer inspection."