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Key Races for Medtech: Orrin Hatch vs. Scott Howell for Utah Senate

Michigan's 6th Congressional District, Candidate Orrin Hatch (incumbent) Scott Howell  

Utah Senate Race

Candidate

Orrin Hatch (incumbent) Scott Howell
 

Current Title

Senator of Utah
 
Has served in the Utah State Senate for three terms; retired business executive at IBM
 

Party

Republican Democratic

Hometown

Pittsburgh, PA Provo, UT

Words on Medtech

“A $20 billion tax hike on medical device manufacturers will cripple an important engine of opportunity, job growth, and innovation, while hurting the advancement of technologies essential to improving patient care,”

—Orrin Hatch, IVDT, January 26, 2011

“There are concrete steps that Congress can take immediately to preserve and strengthen Medicare. I support legislation to upgrade the Medicare card and eliminate phantom billing and medical equipment fraud.”

—Scott Howell, press statement, September 2012

 

Key Issues in This Race

Six-term U.S Senator Orrin Hatch has been staunchly opposed to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He has also spoken out against the medical device tax, calling it unfair and a threat to innovation and improved patient care in the medical industry. He has introduced legislation supporting the bipartisan Protect Medical Innovation Act, which would repeal the medical device tax. Should he be reelected, Hatch is a heavy favorite to become head of the Senate Finance Committee.

Democratic candidate Scott Howell supports health care reform but has expressed concern over the ACA’s mandate and whether insurance exchanges will be effective for cost control in medical care. He encourages Utah to consider the Innovation Waiver, which allows states to opt out if they can do a better job of providing health care to its citizens, to protect citizens should insurance premiums skyrocket.

Hatch and Howell have diverged on other key policy issues including education spending and energy policy – all ultimately related to the state budget. While the candidates have framed this as a competition of age and experience, Utah voters may swing toward the candidate they feel will be most effective in the current economy

View Other Key Races in Medtech

Chris Wiltz is the Assistant Editor at MD+DI.

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