SMALL BUSINESS FINANCING
AND INVESTMENT ACT OF 2009
Text From the Congressional Record
Mr. PAULSEN. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I yield myself as much time as I may consume.
I rise today to offer an amendment that I am hopeful will help to strengthen and accelerate advancements in medical technology. My amendment would require the SBA to conduct a study that would determine the feasibility of a program that would help bring funding to startup medical technology firms. The amendment would also require the SBA to report its suggestions on how to best structure such a program. It is my hope with this information, Congress will be able to strategically implement a program
to help fund medical technology. Programs of this nature are already in place and exist for renewable energy and for rural manufacturing. This amendment would simply look at also expanding this to medical technology. Medical device companies face startup costs that are very steep, and a program under the SBA would help bring funding to these companies and allow them to get their products to market quicker.
Mr. Chair, we know very well that the development of these new cost-saving technologies allow patients to lead longer, healthier and more productive lives. These technologies also improve the quality of health care in America while helping to fight rising health care costs. Furthermore, the medical technology industry is a proven job-creator. According to one study, the medical technology industry nationwide employs more than 350,000 people. These are good, high-paying jobs. The average salary
of a med tech employee is higher than the State salary average in 49 of the 50 states; and in some States, medical technology jobs pay nearly 25 percent higher than the State average salary. Many of these jobs are also often in the area of research and development,
which keeps America in the forefront of innovation. It should also be noted that these companies are truly America's small businesses and success stories. Of these companies, 71 percent have fewer than 10 employees. It fits right in with this bill, Mr. Chair.
A week ago, I held a field hearing in my district on the issue of medical technology, and we heard firsthand from small businesses in my district about the work that they are doing and the jobs they are creating. As cochair of the Medical Technology Caucus, I would ask support for this amendment so we can have Congress spur additional advancement in medical technology.
I urge adoption of my amendment and reserve the balance of my time.
Small Business Health IT Financing Program: H.R. 3854 amends the Small Business Act to establish a new small business health information technology financing program. The SBA Administrator would be authorized to guarantee up to 90 percent of the amount of a loan made to a medical practitioner for the acquisition of health information technology for use in medical practice and for the costs associated with the installation of the technology. The maximum amount of loan principal guaranteed could not exceed $350,000 for a single medical professional or $2 million for a group of associated professionals.
The Administrator may impose a guarantee fee on the borrower for the purpose of reducing the cost of the guarantee to zero. The Administrator may also impose annual servicing fees on lenders not to exceed 0.5 percent of the outstanding balance of the guarantees on lenders' books. Loans guaranteed would have a deferral period of one to three years.
The bill authorizes such sums as are necessary for the cost of guaranteeing $10 billion in health IT loans.