by Brendon Nafziger
, DOTmed News Associate Editor | February 08, 2013
The Senate version of a new bill to repeal the medical device tax was introduced into the upper chambers Thursday, a day after similar legislation was brought to the House. But it's not clear if it's going to bring on the Democratic support it needs to pass.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, are co-sponsoring the Medical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act, which would scuttle a 2.3 percent excise tax on device sales that took effect last month.
Hatch and Klobuchar already have at least 25 other cosponsors, according to an e-mail DOTmed News received from the Senate Finance Committee, of which Hatch is the ranking member. Predictably, perhaps, only three of these are Democrats, Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Al Franken (Minn.) and Bob Casey (Pa.).
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Notably, too, the bill already has the support of Minnesota's two senators — the state is home to several powerhouse device companies, including St. Jude and Medtronic, both of which have announced layoffs in recent months.
Bringing Dems on board could be challenging like it was the last year, though, when a repeal bill sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) swept through the GOP-controlled House but failed to get taken up by the Senate.