US Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Evan Bayh (D-IN) along with 12 other Senators sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Tom Harkin to reduce the proposed $40 billion tax on the medical device industry in the Senate Finance Committee health care reform proposal, the Reports.

The letter signed by Senators Sherrod Brown, John F. Kerry, Ben Nelson, Kay Hagan, Al Franken, Paul G. Kirk, Jr., Dianne Feinstein, Debbie Stabenow, Barbara Boxer, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg.

In the letter, the Senators Wrote: “We are extremely concerned that this tax could threaten jobs in our States, reduce domestic investment in research and development (R&D), and ultimately diminish access to life-saving medical devices for patients.

Medical technology companies employ more than 357,700 workers in the United States. Current estimates indicate there are as many as 6,000 medical technology firms currently operating domestically, and 95 percent of them have fewer than $100 million in annual sales. With such a large number of firms manufacturing as many as 80,000 unique medical device technologies, a one-size fits all excise tax could have significant ramifications for an industry.

A tax of such magnitude will threaten the existence of some manufacturers, would likely lead to significant job reductions by others, and will certainly curtail investment in innovation. These jobs, which pay an average of 15 percent more than the average manufacturing job, are critical to our States’ economies. The research provides not only employment, but medical advances necessary to diagnose debilitating diseases and to reduce health care costs. We urge you to moderate the tax proposal in order to prevent such unnecessary consequences.”