BY JIM SPENCER
The Republican majority leader of Minnesota’s state senate has checked in with Congressional leaders of both major parties to oppose a tax on medical devices days before the U.S. House is expected to repeal the tax.
“As senator of a state with over 83,000 jobs tied directly and indirectly to medical technology, we believe this tax could harm U.S. global competitiveness and negatively impact medical innovation,” David Senjem wrote in a June 1 letter to Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“We are working hard in Minnesota to foster an economic environment in which businesses can grow, thrive and increase employment. The impending tax on medical innovation runs counter to our efforts. We urge you to consider legislation to repeal this devastating medical device excise tax as soon as possible.”
With the House repeal of the tax almost assured, the battle over the tax moves to the Senate. Medical device advocates foresee a struggle because repealing the tax dries up a revenue stream needed to fund President Obama's health care reform. Minnesota’s two Democratic senators, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, have said they favor repeal of the device tax, but Franken has concerns about replacing the $28 billion in federal revenue that will be lost over the next decade.