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.
Supports public private partnership aimed at channeling investment capital into small business start-ups.
Expands equity investment to low income communities
Makes microloans more affordable for budding entrepreneurs
Provides greater support by the SBA to help facilitate small business lending
Maintains fee reductions and increased guarantees on 7(a) loans that were established through the Recovery Act
Takes steps to encourage smaller lenders to participate in SBA programs and to help rural businesses and veteran-owned businesses obtain loans
Raises loan amounts for both 7(a) and the CDC loans to help small businesses access larger amounts of capital.
Provides financing options for small health care practitioners to afford new health IT technology
Altogether, the bill is expected to support $44 billion in small business lending, annually, helping to create or save almost 1 and a half million jobs a year.
Velázquez (Manager’s): Would make technical and conforming changes to the bill, including clarifications of legislative intent. It also would incorporate provisions that would enhance investing in veteran-owned businesses in the New Markets Venture Capital program. It would direct the SBA to conduct a study on the efficacy of the Business Stabilization loan program that was established under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a study on the existing loan size limits in the SBA’s 7(a), CDC, and Microloan, and a study on the state of private sector lending for small businesses over the past four years. It contains provisions that would enable franchises with temporary workers to qualify for SBA lending programs and would enhance the ability of small firms to use 7(a) loans to purchase unoccupied manufacturing centers or equipment. The delivery of capital with Business Stabilization loans would also be improved, with provisions that will make more loans in cities with unemployment rates that exceed state rates by 25 percent. The Health IT Financing program would also be expanded with eligibility for home health care providers.
Schock: Would require the SBA Administrator to pay the claim of a lender who demonstrates it followed the applicable requirements of the National Lender Training Program (Sec. 106), unless the SBA has clear and convincing evidence demonstrating that the lender failed to comply with regulatory requirements.
Schock: Would require quarterly reports on the SBA Administrators progress towards the expansion of the Renewable Energy Capital Investment Program. It would require the SBA Administrator to establish regulations necessary to carry out the program within 180 days after enactment.
Bright: Would require each of the SBA district offices to establish a marketing plan for rural businesses regarding financing and investment alternatives, designate an employer as a Rural Business Outreach Specialist, and host at least one annual outreach seminar.
Flake: Would prohibit the earmarking of grants made available through the Small Business Early-Stage Investment program.
Kosmas: Would add "photonics technology" to the list of targeted business sectors qualified to receive grants under the Small Business Early-Stage Investment Program.
Gingrey: Would increase from 5 years to 7 years the period to participate in the Small Business Health Information Technology Financing Program.
Kratovil: Would give the SBA Administrator authority under the 7(a) program to guarantee 100 percent of loans made to veteran owned small businesses.
Paulsen: Would require a study and a report to Congress by the SBA, within one year of enactment, to determine the feasibility of a program to increase investment in the research, development and commercialization of medical technology by small businesses in a similar matter to the renewable energy program currently administered by the SBA.
Massa: Would create youth entrepreneurship programs in the Small Business Administration to assist the development of new businesses by young people who remain in their local area.
Foxx: Would result in the termination of the SBA small business lending programs in two years.
Kissell: Would amend Section 7(a)(7) of the Small Business Act to allow for repayment of SBA 7(A) loans (granted to small businesses after enactment of this bill) to be deferred for a maximum of 12 months from receipt of final loan disbursement if that small business concern is classified in sector 23 of the North American Industry Classification System.
Peters: Would increase the maximum amount of stabilization loans in high unemployment areas to $75,000 and delays repayment of stabilization loans in high unemployment areas to 18 months for new loans made after enactment of this act. It would give the SBA administrator ability to designate high unemployment areas as eligible for operating assistance grants under the new market venture capital program.
Brown-Waite: Would require individuals directly engaged in loan application analysis and/or underwriting under the new Capital Backstop Program (Sec. 111) to have at least two years worth of experience in those activities.
Brown-Waite: Would clarify that the Capital Backstop Program (Sec. 111) is authorized to start immediately and to operate through 2011, regardless of whether the recession is declared officially over during that time or SBA loan volume drops another 30% next year. It would restore such requirements after September 30, 2011.
Nye/Buchanan: Would allow the SBA Administrator to make loans to homeowners to be used for the repair or replacement of toxic drywall manufactured in China.