U.S. Sen. Al Franken said that delaying the Medical Device Excise tax must be part of the fiscal cliff discussion in a recent letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
Sen. Franken, who favors fully repealing the tax in a fiscally responsible way, said the tax should be delayed, as it is scheduled to go into effect at the end of this year.
"I want to repeal the medical device tax altogether. But I am concerned that we are running out of time before this job-killing tax goes into effect. So, for now, the best thing to do to ensure that this important industry continues to create jobs and producing life-saving devices is to delay this unwise tax," said Sen. Franken. "I'm pushing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to include such a delay in the current fiscal cliff negotiations. The medical device industry creates tens of thousands of good paying jobs in Minnesota and 400,000 nationwide. We should do everything we can to protect it."
Sen. Franken is a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which helps oversee the regulation of the medical device industry and has worked diligently to reduce regulatory burdens that unnecessarily delay new medical devices from reaching the market. He was a key member of a bipartisan group of Senate health committee members that authored the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. Sen. Franken championed three significant provisions that were included in the legislation passed by the Senate.
Sen. Franken's letter to Sen. Reid was also signed by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and 16 of their Senate colleagues. You can read the letter below:
The Honorable Harry Reid
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Mr. Leader,
As discussions on the fiscal cliff and our nation's economic future progress, we write to request a delay in the implementation of the medical device excise tax scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2013.
The medical technology industry directly employs over 400,000 people in the United States and is responsible for a total of two million high-skilled manufacturing jobs. Additionally, this industry is also one of the few that enjoys a net trade surplus, significantly boosting U.S. exports around the globe. In an environment focused on increasing exports, promoting small businesses, and growing high-tech manufacturing jobs for the future, we must do all we can to ensure that our country maintains its global leadership position in the medical technology industry and keeps good jobs here at home.
With this year quickly drawing to a close, the medical device industry has received little guidance about how to comply with the tax-causingsignificant uncertainty and confusion for businesses. As we work together to develop a long-term solution to help move our economy forward, reduce our debt and reform our tax code, we urge you to support delaying enactment of this provision in a fiscally responsible manner.
Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to working with you on this critical issue that will benefit patients, innovators and boost our country's economic growth.