Representative Erik Paulsen (MN-03), a member of the Ways and Means Committee and author of H.R. 523, legislation to repeal the new 2.3% excise tax on American medical innovation, joined the Hugh Hewitt radio show on Monday evening to discuss the importance of repealing the medical device tax. Rep. Paulsen's bill to repeal the tax has garnered 212 bipartisan co-authors. Excerpts from the interview below.
"When I reintroduced the bill this year in the House we had 180 cosponsors right off the bat. We're up to 212 now. I'm working hard to sign up even more. I'm excited we got some bipartisan momentum."
"I'm pushing my leadership very, very hard to either have a vote on this separately, or move it forward as a part of some other tax initiative, as near in the future as possible because jobs are being shed and lost as we speak."
"It's important to pass this now, as soon as possible, because companies are making the decision whether to do payroll every two weeks, or whether to pay this new excise tax every two weeks. This is paid every two weeks by these companies, so it is impacting small business."
"The real effect is this, and believe me there are 400 of these medical device companies in Minnesota - about 200 of them alone in my district - and you've never heard of these companies. But they are started by an engineer, or a doctor, or an entrepreneur, and they are working on some life-saving technology and they are paying higher than average wages."
"What I'm hearing is that: one company said, because of the tax, I will hire two fewer people this year, I will shelve one product that would have come to market. I visited another company recently that said, I will have two less products on the market this year because we've had to cut back on research and development. So, that's hurting patients just as much as it's hurting future job growth."
"We are killing one of America's best success stories. And once you start to move the clinical trials and start-up money off shore, it doesn't come back. And that's why I've been such a passionate advocate to repeal this tax. I warned about this when it was first proposed, they were just trying to grab revenue to pay for the new law, they didn't really have a rhyme or reason to tax this industry."
Paulsen, a champion of small business and advocate of free enterprise, entrepreneurship, and innovation, serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, the bicameral Joint Economic Committee, and is co-chair of the Congressional Medical Technology Caucus.