Fresh off a vote to repeal healthcare reform, Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) is circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter to colleagues in the House of Representatives, trying to cobble support to resurrect his bill to repeal the medical device tax (called the Defend Medical Innovation Act).
“If we are to strengthen our economy the government should be taking actions to encourage medical innovation, not killing it,” according to Paulsen’s letter. “As many of you know, device manufacturers will have to cut R & D or may be forced to lay off employees due to this disastrous tax.” (Emphasis his)
Paulsen originally introduced the medical device tax repeal legislation in April, 2010.
The bill foundered, though, and the re-introduction will likely get stuck in the guerrilla war that is healthcare reform repeal. The money raised from the medical device tax is being used to fund President Obama’s healthcare reform legislation. Unless healthcare reform disappears — and that may take two years — it’s unlikely that repealing the medical device tax will have enough votes.
Paulsen, who represents Eden Prarie, Minn. is a strong advocate for the medical device community. He is the co-chair of the House Medical Technology Caucus and in October he gave a key note address to the Advanced Medical Technology Association of ADVAMED’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.