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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 436, Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012, and Providing for Consideration of H.R. 5882, Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ALTMIRE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the legislation we will be voting on this afternoon to repeal the $30 billion excise tax on medical device companies, and I'm proud to join Mr. Paulsen in his effort to prevent this misguided tax from taking effect next year.

The district I represent in western Pennsylvania is home to a number of medical device companies that have planted their roots in our region. They offer high-paying, quality jobs and are developing innovative devices that are saving lives.

One example is Zoll Medical, which manufactures the LifeVest, a lightweight, wearable defibrillator that continuously monitors a patient's heart. The device allows patients with medical conditions to return to their daily lives with the peace of mind that they are protected from sudden cardiac arrest. This is the type of innovation that we should be encouraging in this country, not penalizing.

The excise tax is simply misguided policy. The American medical device industry has proven that when given the chance to succeed, it has the ability to produce devices that can better the quality of life for Americans and even save lives.

The industry is already facing challenges from foreign competitors that have an easier time getting their products to market. We must give the U.S. device manufacturers the opportunity to succeed, not punish them for being innovators and risk losing the incalculable contributions they provide to our economy, the delivery of health care and quality of life for every American.

The rule that we are debating today provides us with the chance to vote to help ensure that the next great medical breakthrough is developed in this country right here in the United States and not overseas.

I urge my colleagues to support its passage, and I thank Mr. Polis for yielding me the time.

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