Erik Paulsen pushes medical device tax repeal while getting megabucks from medical industry


Following the money suggests there's more to Paulsen's medical device tax view than a concern about stifling economic activity.

On Wednesday, Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen introduced a bill to repeal the medical device tax included in Obamacare. In 2012, by a wide margin, Paulsen led the House in money received from medical supply companies.

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Seems like there's probably a connection between those two things, right? But Paulsen denies it.

[jump] Asked today by the Star Tribune whether the $110,100 he received from the medical supply industry last year plays a role in his interest in the medical device tax, Paulsen said: "No, none whatsoever." It's unclear whether his nose grew as he uttered those words.

Paulsen's push to repeal the tax is also supported by Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and guess what? Last year, Klobuchar received the third most money from medical supply companies of any Senator ($90,025); Franken clocked in at 12th ($30,349).

Of course, we're not exactly breaking news by suggesting financial contributions play a role what legislation various elected officials support. To take just one additional example, around this time last year, Klobuchar and Franken both supported anti-piracy legislation that would've benefited big media. And as we reported, both senators received hundreds of thousands of dollars from big media companies in the preceding years.

Last  year, Paulsen wanted to make up for the $29 billion that would be lost if the device tax were repealed by reducing health care subsidies for the poor. But as you'd imagine, that proposal wasn't popular with Democrats, and this year's bill doesn't specify what would make up for the lost revenue.

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