Paulsen Cuts Taxes For Penis Pumpmaker; Fails To Support Vaccine Coverage That Seniors Need

Erik Paulsen, the protector of the medical device industry, has a simple strategy for his re-election campaign … a message that combines more jobs and less taxes.
“If we want to protect and create more high-paying jobs and if we want to ensure more life-improving and life-saving technologies are available to help patients, we cannot allow the medical device tax to start up again,” said Congressman Paulsen. “This tax should be eliminated and fully repealed, but short of that, we should at least suspend this onerous tax”

The medical device EXCISE tax has now been suspended until through December 31, 2019 … which means the government will collect less revenues. Now that the GOP (with Congressman Paulsen’s strong support) has exploded the deficit, they’re eyeing cuts to Medicare and Medicaid as a way to balance the budget — and seniors would pay the price.

The “onerous tax” was 2.3% on “durable medical equipment” sales … and since it is an excise tax, it was actually paid by someone else — your insurer, Medicare, or the consumer. Further, since this tax was in effect for years, the question would be : did any business reduce the sale price after it was suspended ?
Without evidence to the contrary, the obvious answer is that the business kept the additional revenue.

And what sort of items would be considered a “durable medical equipment” ?
Did you know that erectile vacuum devices (aka “penis pump“) are covered as part of Medicare Part B ?

Do you know how much Medicare paid for penis pumps ?
Well, one company was paid $10,160,035 over a two year period (January 1, 2008, through December 31, 2009).
That’s just one company that makes one pump, there are others … but that company has just seen its bottom line improve by over $100,000 per year thanks to Congressman Paulsen’s hard work.

Obviously, not every one will need a “penis pump”, but all seniors will hear that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that persons aged 60 and older be immunized for shingles.
Shingles is a painful disease that affects nearly 1 million Americans annually, with one out of three Americans developing shingles during their lifetime.
Vaccines for the flu and pneumonia are completely covered by Medicare Part B, however the shingles vaccine falls under Part D and not required to be covered.
Thus senior citizens can face additional costs for that immunization — as much as four times the price of a penis pump.

Last November, Congressman Larry Bucshon (R-IN08) introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure that senior citizens receive Medicare Part D coverage for the shingles vaccine without out-of-pocket costs.

H.R.4297 – Protecting Seniors Through Immunization Act of 2017 has earned the support of Alliance for Aging Research, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN), American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM), Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and many other groups … yet Congressman Paulsen has not sponsored it.

So on the campaign trail, you will hear Congressman Paulsen recount his successes and why he deserves a sixth term.
Last year, Congressman Paulsen successfully suspended an “onerous tax” that improves medical device makers bottom lines … but somehow Congressman Paulsen fails to mention that he has not sponsored shingles vaccine legislation. Could it be that with an exploded deficit and Republican proposals to cut Medicare and Medicaid to the tune of $800 Billion, Congressman Paulsen doesn’t want to think about shingles prevention … ’cause #PaulsenDonors are already happy with their tax cut.

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