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CBS Minnesota - Congressman Paulsen Hopes to Stop Medical Tech Tax

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Location: Minneapolis, MN

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Minnesota Republican Representative Erik Paulsen is pleased that the U.S. House of Representatives passed his bill, but says there is more work to be done.

The bill now moves to the Senate, where it faces a much tougher sell among the chamber's Democrats.

President Barack Obama has also threatened to veto the legislation because of the way Republicans plan to pay for it.

The plan to pay for it includes limiting subsidies to low-income and middle-class individuals to purchase health insurance under the president's health-care-reform package.

Paulsen said he just wants to protect the medical device industry from the 2.3 percent tax on revenue set to take effect in January.

"There are estimates that say that this will result in ten percent loss of jobs in the industry. Here in Minnesota, we are talking more than 4,000 jobs, and that's a good number of jobs. Good paying jobs. What I worry about most is that I've talked to a lot of folks who are already planning for the tax," Paulsen said.

There are some 400 medical-device companies and 35,000 jobs in Minnesota, including industry giants like Medtronic.

Paulsen said he's hearing some of them are planning to cut in the area of research and development.

"This is the very life blood of what created this industry. So, these are threats that we have a chance to fix if we tend to it now. I'm convinced if we build up the momentum we are going to be able to stop it," he said.

Paulsen said Minnesota's House delegation voted unanimously to approve the bill.


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