McCollum Statement Opposing Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2017 H.R. 184
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) released the following statement after she voted against the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2017 (H.R. 184):
The medical device industry serves a vital role in Minnesota by supporting thousands of jobs and providing lifesaving technology.
Nonetheless, repealing the medical device tax without a fiscal offset only intensifies the Republican sabotage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I represent 700,000 constituents and the majority have made it clear the ongoing attacks on the ACA and our healthcare system are intolerable. Therefore, I cannot support a tax cut on medical devices while the White House and Republicans in Congress continue to cut healthcare for millions of Americans, including stripping protections for individuals with preexisting conditions.
The fiscal shortsightedness of this legislation is deeply troubling. Like most corporations, medical device companies received billions in tax cuts that were completely unpaid for in the recent Republican tax overhaul. Repealing the medical device tax would give another tax break in excess of $20 billion to these same medical device companies with devastating fiscal implications.
Unfortunately, it has become clear that Republicans plan to cover the costs of these deficit-exploding tax measures by forcing drastic cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. It is simply unacceptable that these already cash-strapped programs will be forced to foot the bill for corporate tax cuts. Considering that the Republican tax bill eliminated healthcare coverage for 13 million people, we should be investing in earned benefit programs now that the need for them is greater than ever. Passing yet another unpaid tax break simply makes these pending cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security all the more likely.
A bipartisan, responsible bill should be drafted that allows the medical device sector to continue to innovate and invest without this target tax, but any solution needs to be paid for and it should have broad support from Republicans and Democrats.