Critics of medical device tax change tactics, seek delay

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Opponents of a plan for a federal tax on medical device makers -- including both of Minnesota's U.S. Senators -- admit they will not be able to kill the idea by the end of the year. So they now hope to postpone implementation of the tax. Sen. Amy Klobuchar tells the Star Tribune it will give opponents more time to work on repealing or reducing the tax.

Here's the letter Klobuchar, her Minnesota colleague Al Franken, and 16 other Senators sent to Majority Leader Harry Reid asking for a delay. The tax is a key piece of the funding for the federal health care changes President Obama championed. It's expected to raise about $28 billion over a decade.

The tax was a thorny issue this summer for some of the Minnesota Democrats who supported the health care law but don't want to undermine Minnesota's flourishing medical device industry. The Senators (both Democrats who supported the health care law) and Minnesota's House Republicans have opposed it.

By one count Minnesota has more than 1,200 medical device companies. A U of M study two years ago put the number of Minnesotans employed in the industry at 30,000.

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