Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), facing a tough re-election campaign, is taking yet another run at repealing the medical device tax.
Although the 2.3% levy on prescribed medical devices was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, it didn’t go into effect until 2012 and was mothballed two years later; that moratorium, extended earlier this year, is slated to end in 2020.
Paulsen, who filed his first bill to repeal the tax back in 2010, introduced his latest repeal bid in January 2017. The bill, H.R. 184, or the “Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2017,” aims to “amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the excise tax on medical devices.” The bill has 269 co-sponsors, including 43 Democrats.
Citing “sources familiar with the plan,” The Hill reported yesterday that the U.S. House of Representatives could vote on the Paulsen bill as early as this month. That could help Paulsen’s campaign against Democratic businessman Dean Phillips in a district that Hillary Clinton won by a 10% margin in 2016 that’s also a hotbed for the medtech industry. That race is a “toss-up” according to the Cook Political Report, which gave Phillips a +1 chance of winning the contest as of June 20.
“We’ve got a lot of little companies that want to become the next Medtronic or Boston Scientific, so, yeah, I’m sure it’s something we’ll be talking about in terms of getting something done in an atmosphere where it’s tougher to get stuff done,” Paulsen told The Hill. “We’re kind of thinking if we get a big vote like that it will actually show the Senate we want to get this done.”
Phillips is also on record as opposing the medical device tax, the website reported.