A bipartisan group of congressional representatives from California has sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) expressing “deep concern” about a proposed tax on medical-device manufacturers that seeks to raise $40 billion over 10 years to help pay for healthcare reform.
“We are extremely concerned that this tax would harm our state's economy, impede innovation and ultimately deny access to life-saving medical devices for patients,” the 20 members said in a letter dated Sept. 25. The group added that the suggested $4 billion annual tax assessment on medical-device makers would exceed the $3.7 billion in venture capital the industry raised in 2007. “We agree that health reform is needed and should be paid for, but this proposal threatens to crush the very industry that could save billions of dollars in the healthcare system,” the California lawmakers wrote.
The correspondence is part of a growing litany of efforts by stakeholders who, while asserting their support for healthcare reform, are also seeking to minimize their share of the cost burden. Democratic Reps. Anna Eshoo and Sam Farr and Republican Reps. Mary Bono Mack and Kevin McCarthy were among those who signed the letter.