Sen. Kay Hagan is leading an effort to delay a new tax on medical devices which is part of President Obama's health care law.
Hagan has joined with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, both Democrats, saying delaying the tax, which takes effect in January, should be considered in part of any talks surrounding the fiscal cliff.
The tax is designed to raise about $20 billion over a decade, but the senators said it threatens an industry that employs more than 400,000 people across the country, including 24,500 in North Carolina.
Hagan and Klobuchar wrote a letter to Senate leader Harry Reid.
“My number one priority is getting North Carlinians back to work, and I am concerned about th effects of the planned medical device tax in North Carolina,” Hagan said. “The medical device industry is critical to North Carolina's dynamic bioscience economy and when the tax was first proposed, I opposed its adoption. Democrats and Republicans must now work together to find a solution that does not harm our economic recovery.''
Lew Ebert, president of the N.C. Chamber, praised the move, saying the tax could cost an estimated $70 million in annual employment compensation.
Pushing for the delay is the Advanced Medical Technology Association(AdvaMed), which represents device makers. Among its members with North Carolina plant are Hospira, Inc., Novo Nordisk, Inc. Sequenom Inc., and Tear Science