MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen said Monday that the state could lose thousands of medical technology jobs if a new tax on medical devices goes into effect.

A new 2.3 percent medical device tax is included in the new federal health care law, which Paulsen, a Republican, says should be repealed. And in a House hearing Monday, the congressman said Minnesota manufacturers are already planning to make up for the new tax by laying off employees.

“Studies have shown that tax would negatively impact the bottom lines of medical technology companies, increase compliance costs, and also could result in the loss of about potentially 10 percent of the industry’s current employment,” he said. “Here in Minnesota, that’s the equivalent of about 3,500 jobs.”

But Democrats suggested his opposition is political, and said millions more people will get health care because of the new law.

“It seems to me that colleagues of yours have health insurance plans that are quite good,” said Rep. Michael Paymar, a Democrat. “You know, I wonder if the rest of the people of Minnesota would like to have a health insurance policy like you do.”

The U.S. House passed a bill, authored by Paulsen, which repeals the tax. The Senate has not yet taken it up.

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