Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) appears to be gaining ground in ginning up support for his resurrected “Defend Medical Innovation Act,” which seeks to block the 2.3 percent tax on medical device company revenues prescribed by President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul last year.
Paulsen’s “Dear Colleague” letter urging legislators to repeal the tax which, “unfairly penalizes entrepreneurship and innovation in an industry that makes up 2.7 percent of our nation’s GDP,” has 154 backers thus far, including four House Democrats, the Financial Times reported.
A congressional aide told MassDevice that the number quoted by the paper was accurate, but couldn’t provide a copy of the signatures.
Paulsen has said that the tax, implemented by the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act and set to kick in after 2013, willreduce medical technology jobs across the country.
He originally introduced legislation repealing the tax in April 2010, but received little support. Pauslen began circulating his “Dear Colleague” letter in January of this year when the GOP controlled 112th congress convened.
More recently, the North Star State legislator announced plans to push legislation to modernize and streamline FDA processes at the MedTech Investing Conference in Minneapolis in May.
The FDA product approval process is “inconsistent, inefficient and unpredictable,” Paulsen said at a “town hall” meeting in his home state in May. “The No. 1 risk I hear from venture capitalists and investors… isn’t about market opportunity or product success,” he said. “The risk lies in the regulatory environment… brought on by the FDA.”