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Members Fight Medical Device Tax

Members with industry interests in their states are coming out against a proposed tax on medical devices that would help pay for Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus’ (D-Mont.) $900 billion health care overhaul.

“We write to express our deep concern about the $4 billion annual tax on medical device manufacturers included in Sen. Baucus’ proposal for health reform,— reads a letter signed by nearly 20 House Members that was sent to Democratic leadership Friday.

“Medical technology companies employ more than 357,700 workers in the United States, many of them in firms with less than 100 employees.—

The House letter was signed by Members from industry-heavy states such as Indiana, North Carolina and Minnesota. California Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein also are expressing concerns about Baucus’ proposed device tax, which is included in the Finance panel’s health care package that’s now up for a vote.

“California is home to more medical device workers and companies than any other state,— the Golden State lawmakers also wrote Friday. “Our state is home to 1,300 medical technology firms, which create more than 112,000 related jobs. These California firms represent about 20 percent of total United States medical device sales and approximately one-third of the industry’s jobs.—

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