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Public Statements

Health Care Costs Reduction Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PAULSEN. I thank the chairman for yielding, and I thank him for his leadership on the committee as well.

Mr. Speaker and Members, the medical technology industry is one of America's greatest success stories. This is an industry that has led the global device industry for decades with life-improving, lifesaving technologies that help patients and literally save lives.

This device industry employs 423,000 Americans across the country. Some of our States, like Minnesota, have a high propensity because we have a huge ecosystem of medical technology--35,000 jobs, alone, in my State.

But all that will change, Mr. Speaker, unless we act to stop a new medical device, a new $29 million tax that is going to be imposed in just a little over 6 months that was part of the President's new health care law. Now, this is an excise tax. It is not on profits. It is a tax that is going to be on revenue.
What does that mean? Well, we all know the names of the big companies that are successful and do really well across the country and sell throughout the world.

I will tell you this: almost every week I get a chance to tour a company that has five employees, that has 10 employees. You have never heard of these companies, but they are working on lifesaving and life-improving technologies. They are doctors. They are engineers. They are entrepreneurs. They are innovators. This tax will change all that because it's estimated that this tax will cost 10 percent of the workforce.

I talked to a company earlier this day, a CEO of a company earlier today, of a 13-year-old medical device company. It employs 1,500 workers here in the United States, and he's consistently added 300 jobs a year for the last few years. He said, point blank, if this tax goes into effect, it will cost the company $14 million. That means 200 people less will be hired this next year.

Mr. Speaker, what is worse to point out, companies are already preparing right now for the impact of this tax. Companies are already laying off employees. We have heard of companies in Michigan that are laying off 5 percent of their workforce in anticipation of the tax. So, Mr. Speaker, jobs are clearly at risk.

And this will especially hit startup companies hard, companies that are not yet profitable, because this is a tax on revenue, not on profits.

We have a chance and an opportunity to stop this tax dead in its tracks because it's an opportunity to protect jobs. We passed the bill in committee just a week ago, under the chairman's leadership, with bipartisan support. We have 240 coauthors of support for this legislation with bipartisan support. I anticipate we will be successful moving forward.

I ask and urge support for the legislation.

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