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Key Races for Medtech: Fred Upton vs. Mike O'Brien for Michigan's 6th Congressional District

Michigan's 6th Congressional District, Candidate Fred Upton (incumbent) Mike O'Brien  

Michigan's 6th Congressional District,


Fred Upton (incumbent) Mike O'Brien

Current Title

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan’s 6th district Project team leader at Herman Miller


Republican Democratic


Saint Joseph, MI Douglas, MI

Words on Medtech

The administration’s impending tax on medical devices is a ticking time bomb for manufacturing jobs and innovation across the country and especially in Michigan, which is why we need to repeal it.’”

—Fred Upton, U.S. House of Representatives, June 2012

Medicare has proven time and time again to have lower administrative costs than any other. An area to cut, I would say we take what I like to call the Walmart affect. Bring the different groups together — Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, Romneycare and leverage it out.’”

—Mike O'Brien, debate against Upton, October 2012


Key Issues in This Race

Republican Fred Upton, who is a U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 6th congressional district, has been a vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act. On his website, he proclaims that he is “flatly opposed to any sort of healthcare overhaul that would add billions of dollars to our deficit, raise taxes, destroy jobs, and cause Americans to lose their current coverage.” He pledges to fully repeal the legislation and boasts his support for the life sciences industry and medical research in southwest Michigan.

Democrat Mike O’Brien, who is vying for Upton’s House seat, has criticized Upton’s healthcare politics and his attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “The fact of the matter is, since the 1980s when Congressman Upton went to Washington, until today, until 2010, the cost of healthcare delivery in this nation has gone up 10 times,” he says. “Congress has not stepped up to put a hand into this pot and try to fix it while prices in his time have escalated 10-fold toward now $2.6 trillion of our GDP.”

O’Brien describes the Affordable Care Act as “the first step” in healthcare reform, adding that “it’s not complete.” A former marine, O’Brien has a vision of improving healthcare by tapping efficiencies of scale across Medicare and Medicaid while stepping up efforts to constrain fraud and waste.

View Other Key Races in Medtech

Brian Buntz is the editor-at-large at UBM Canon's medical group. Follow him on Twitter at @brian_buntz.

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