U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen's effort to repeal an estimated $28 billion tax on medical device makers has enough support to pass the House.
Legislation that would end the excise tax picked up its 218th sponsor this week, all but ensuring that it has enough support to pass the Republican-led, 435-member U.S. House.
Minnesota is home to hundreds of medical device companies that employ more than 30,000 people. The state's entire congressional delegation voted last June to repeal the medical device tax, but the effort stalled in the Democrat-led Senate. Paulsen has called the 2.3 percent tax on revenue, which began in January, a "tax on innovation."
"Last year, the House overwhelmingly passed legislation repealing the tax, and I'm confident we'll do so again," Paulsen said in a statement. "Now it's time for the U.S. Senate to follow the House's lead, vote to repeal this onerous tax, and ensure the continued leadership of American medical device manufacturing."
Money raised from the tax is intended to fund expanded health care coverage for upwards of 30 million Americans under President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
Senate Democrats have been unwilling to deal a blow to one of the president's signature legislative accomplishments. Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, both Democrats, have urged their colleagues to repeal the tax, but thus far, there has been no agreement on how Congress would replace the revenue and fund the health care expansion if the tax is repealed.
Gov. Mark Dayton, speaking to a mostly Republican audience at the annual Minnesota Business Partnership dinner, repeated his familiar attack on the House GOP, blaming them for a legislative impasse on transportation.
It takes a certain sort of magic for a presidential debate to shift a race, it seems, some weird alchemy combining ingredients like viewership and mistakes and perceptions and medium. It's almost never about policy.