It's no secret that Obamacare is bad for patients. And most people have come to understand that it is bad for the American economy.
But many Minnesotans might not be aware of how particularly bad the President's health care bill will be for Minnesota. Buried deep within the bill is a provision that strikes right at the core of the Medical Device industry--which is one of the strongest job creators in our state.
Obamacare is funded by a raft of new taxes--added together those taxes place a huge burden on the economy. One of those taxes is a real stink bomb for the Minnesota economy: a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices. That's not a tax on profits, but a tax on each and every medical device made here.
The medical device tax will raise medical costs by billions of dollars a year, hurt Minnesota's economy by undermining one of our best industries, and slow medical innovation and thus cost lives. Medtronic has already laid off 1000 workers, and more layoffs are coming throughout the industry.
Minnesota is one of the few places in the world with a concentration of world-class medical device companies. Medtronic is the granddaddy of them all--it was started in a North Minneapolis garage by a couple guys with an idea and a dream. Today their devices keep hearts beating regularly in every corner of the globe.
But Medtronic is one of many such companies here in Minnesota, large and small. Minnesotans make hearing aids, vascular stents, defibrillators, pacemakers, and myriad products that make our lives longer and better. And these companies provide some of the best jobs at the best wages in Minnesota.
My opponent, Amy Klobuchar, makes a big show of advocating the medical device industry, but has done precious little to protect them from the damage Obamacare will do to undermine this engine of economic growth. She says she opposed the tax when it was included in Obamacare, but was the deciding vote for the bill allowing it to go into effect.
She also claims to support repeal of the tax, but has failed to sign onto a bill to repeal it, despite many chances to do so. Her colleague, Congressman Erik Paulsen, is spearheading an effort to repeal the tax, but Klobuchar has done little to lead the fight. President Obama has vowed to veto the bill without a word of real criticism from Klobuchar.
President Obama and Senator Harry Reid have loudly proclaimed that repealing the medical device tax is a partisan attempt to kill Obamacare, but the opposite is true: the only reason Klobuchar is eerily silent on this job-killing tax increase is her partisan commitment to the President and his reelection.
The tax's threat to Minnesota's economy is not theoretical. These companies have already had to lay off thousands of workers and have had to scale back their research and operations. Thousands more jobs are at risk.
The medical innovation that is extending lives every day is at risk. There is simply no excuse for failing to fight for this industry.
Yet Klobuchar has been long on talk and short on action. Her inaction is killing jobs and endangering life-saving innovation.
Klobuchar has proven she won't fight for these Minnesota jobs. I will.