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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R)

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News from Representative Gruenhagen 02-28-2014

Friday, February 28, 2014
Dear Friends,
 
I know you've heard a great deal about the many broken promises of ObamaCare. The President's promise of more choices and $2500 in savings per family has turned into higher costs and fewer choices for Minnesotans seeking health care. More than 280,000 Minnesotans were forced off their health plans after being told the "if you like your plan, you can keep it" lie.
 
With President Obama in town this week, I thought it was a good opportunity to pass along a less-discussed part of ObamaCare that's impacting Minnesota: the medical device tax. The medical device excise tax was passed as a part of the "Affordable" Care Act legislation in 2009.

Last week, a new study was released highlighting the impact the medical device tax has had nationwide. The study reported that the tax has led to 14,000 fewer industry workers, and has prevented an additional 19,000 hires. In addition, about a third of respondents said they reduced research and development investments.
 
Minnesota is a nationwide industry leader in the medical device tax industry. This Obamacare tax has undoubtedly resulted in fewer good-paying jobs and opportunities for Minnesota families, and has halted or impeded private investments that would greatly benefit Minnesota's economy.
 
Minnesota Congressman Erik Paulsen has sponsored legislation that has gathered 270 cosponsors include 40 Democrats to repeal the medical device tax. More than 70 Senators supported repealing the tax in a non-binding vote on their budget last year. Despite this rare moment of bipartisan agreement, President Obama issued a veto threat and has seemed unwilling to repeal this tax that is hurting Minnesota families.
 
It's an indisputable fact that ObamaCare has had a negative impact on families and jobs in Minnesota and around the country. The medical device tax is just another example of what happens when Democrats and their "pass the bill to find out what's in it" attitude are in control of government.
 
Heating Relief Funding Passed
The 2014 legislative session officially began on Tuesday. I joined all of my House colleagues to unanimously approve a $20 million dollar appropriation to increase funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
 
The program is set to run out of funding due to increased demand during this unusually cold winter and a propane shortage that caused a dramatic price increase.
 
Helping Minnesotans heat their homes is the right thing to do, but we must explore long-term solutions to prevent a similar propane crisis in the future.

Have a great weekend, and as always, please stay in touch during session.
 
Glenn
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