Key Races for Medtech: Amy Klobuchar vs. Kurt Bills for Minnesota Senate

Posted by Jamie Hartford on October 9, 2012

Minnesota Senate Race


Amy Klobuchar (incumbent) Kurt Bills

Current Title

Senior U.S. Senator from Minnesota Minnesota State Representative from District 37B


Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Republican


Plymouth, MN Rosemount, MN

Words on Medtech

  “I support repealing the medical device tax because I understand the impact the fee would have on small and large medical device companies in Minnesota, which create thousands of jobs in our state and improve the lives of patients all over the world. That is why I worked to cut the tax in half and delay its implementation, and I will continue to support efforts to reduce or eliminate this fee.”

—Amy Klobuchar, in a statement released to MD+DI

Real people are losing real jobs because of the medical device tax, and I will fight to repeal it as soon as I am elected.”

—Kurt Bills, "Medical Device Tax Should Be Repealed"

Key Issues in This Race

In Minnesota, a state where medical device companies including Medtronic, Boston Scientific, and St. Jude Medical are among the biggest employers, one thing most politicians can agree on is their support for the medtech industry. In that vein, incumbent Senator Amy Klobuchar last year joined with Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) to form the Senate Medical Technology Caucus to raise awareness about issues facing the industry. Provisions she authored to simplify FDA’s conflicts-of-interest policy and speed medical device approvals passed as part of an FDA funding bill earlier this year.

Though Klobuchar supports repealing the medical device tax, her opponent, State Representative Kurt Bills, has seized on the fact that she voted in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which created the tax in the first place. Bills has come out strong against the device tax, which he says should be repealed, as well as the ACA, which he argues should also be done away with. A high school economics teacher, Bills also supports reducing the overall corporate tax rate and eliminating the federal budget deficit.

Polls show Klobuchar with a double-digit lead in the race, but Bills recently stepped up negative messaging, criticizing her for everything from voting for the Troubled Asset Relief Program to having presidential aspirations in 2016.



View Other Key Races in Medtech


Jamie Hartford is the associate editor of MD+DI. Follow her on Twitter @readMED.


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