Letter to the Editor

Medical-device tax stifles entrepreneurship

The March 23 editorial “Misguided bipartisanship” missed the importance of repealing the medical-device tax.

Medical-device makers represent a high-tech, manufacturing-based industry that largely consists of small and mid-size businesses. It provides high-paying jobs for 400,000 Americans and is one of the few U.S. manufacturing industries successfully exporting its products around the world. Protecting jobs and innovation for patients in this important sector has been a bipartisan issue.

While the editorial suggested that device manufacturers will reap a windfall of new business from the expansion of health coverage, that has not proved to be the case in Massachusetts, where there is near-universal coverage. Many of the newly insured will be relatively young and unlikely to need device-intensive procedures.

The U.S. workforce is competing in an increasingly global economy, and it is crucial that we enhance our strengths and export American ingenuity. Repealing the medical-device tax will allow today’s entrepreneurs — whether working in a university lab or their bedrooms — to become tomorrow’s visionaries.

Erik Paulsen and Ron Kind, Washington

Erik Paulsen, a Republican, represents Minnesota’s 3rd District in the House. Ron Kind, a Democrat, represents Wisconsin’s 3rd District in the House.

 
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