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Mr. GERLACH. I thank the chairman for his leadership and recognition.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this legislation and urge my colleagues to vote to stop now a $30 billion tax increase on medical innovation. This pending tax means higher costs for doctors and hospitals, less investment in finding new ways to improve treatments for patients, and fewer jobs for American workers.
What's at stake in Pennsylvania are an estimated 20,000 high-tech manufacturing jobs. Approximately 600 medical device manufacturers have helped our Commonwealth's workforce transition from a rust-belt economy to a high-tech leader in life sciences, biotechnology, and medical device manufacturing. However, this looming tax on innovation threatens to bring a little bit of that rust back to our manufacturing base.
Some of the medical device manufacturers in Pennsylvania have said that forcing them to write larger checks to the Internal Revenue Service would mean facing decisions about cutting back on research and development or raising prices. Cutting research and development would mean patients wait longer for groundbreaking treatments and products.
Raising prices would put American workers at a disadvantage compared to their European competitors who are often propped up by huge government subsidies.
Now, I realize the President's in full campaign mode. He's traveling around the country talking about the importance of working together to create jobs. So I would respectfully submit then that passing this legislation to protect American jobs we already have would be at the top of the to-do list that we keep hearing about from the White House.
Mr. Speaker, we should be providing incentives that spur innovation rather than the Federal Government's taking more out of the private sector, which will threaten to drive these manufacturers out of business or overseas.
I ask that all Members support this legislation today so that we can stop a $30 billion tax hike in 2013 and prevent putting up new barriers that will cost American workers their jobs.
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