updated: 11/24/2009 12:57:48 PM

[UPDATED] Bayh Continues to Negotiate Medical Device Tax

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

  In a Studio(i) interview, Cook Group Chairman Steve Ferguson says the impact would stifle innovation by extending the tax to start up companies and the state's growing life sciences initiative.

An Indiana senator says he is working to lessen the impact of the federal health care reform on Indiana companies. Sen. Evan Bayh (D) tells our partners at Network Indiana/WIBC he has helped negotiated a $20 billion reduction in a proposed $40 billion, 10-year tax on medical device manufacturers. The Senate's bill is expected to be debated after Thanksgiving.

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Source: Inside INdiana Business

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The tax would affect companies with Indian operations such as Cook Medical, Zimmer Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZMH), DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. and Biomet Inc.

Cook Group Chairman Steve Ferguson recently told Inside INdiana Business even at the reduced amount, the tax would still have a chilling effect on Indiana's life sciences initiative and other innovations.

Source: Network Indiana/WIBC and Inside INdiana Business

Press Release

A proposed job-killing tax on Indiana’s medical device manufacturers was slashed at the insistence of Senator Evan Bayh who argued a major modification of the Senate health reform bill was necessary to preserve more than 63,000 good-paying jobs in Indiana’s vibrant life sciences industry.

Indiana is the epicenter of the country’s medical device sector and supports tens of thousands of Hoosier jobs in communities across the state, including Indianapolis, Bloomington, Warsaw, Spencer and Plainfield.

“I told them it was crazy at a time when the economy was bad. The auto industry is struggling, the steel industry is struggling, now we’re going to threaten tens of thousands of jobs in the medical device industry? I don’t think so,” Bayh said. “I’m advocating for Indiana and fighting for our jobs. When a proposal like this threatens an important Hoosier industry and thousands of jobs across our state, I’m not going to stand idly by and let that happen. I’m going to advocate for Hoosier workers and for our state and let Washington take care of itself.”

Senator Bayh secured a $20 billion reduction on a proposed levy on the medical device industry during negotiations on the Senate health reform legislation, the largest single reduction secured for any industry in the bill to be debated after the Thanksgiving holidays.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid praised Bayh’s leadership in protecting jobs in the medical device sector. “Senator Bayh led the effort to make revisions to the Senate health care bill to preserve jobs in the life sciences industry,” Reid said. “He approached me this fall and argued passionately that the medical device sector could lose thousands of jobs under tax provisions included in earlier versions of the legislation.”

Indiana’s medical device industry helps people with health challenges live longer, more productive lives by manufacturing high-tech devices that save and improve lives, including pacemakers, hip and knee replacements, and medical technology to detect cancer and treat hemophilia, immune disorders and kidney disease.

Ray Elliott, CEO of Boston Scientific, which employs 1,200 Hoosiers in Spencer, Ind., said, “Senator Bayh has been a forceful and effective advocate for the medical device industry—and its employees—in Indiana and around the country. He knows that our industry provides jobs that pay well, provide good benefits and help the United States maintain its competitive edge. I have known Senator Bayh for many years, going back to the 1990s, when I first joined Zimmer. In my mind, medical device companies and workers could ask for no better champion than Senator Bayh. Boston Scientific and our more than 1,000 Spencer employees deeply appreciate his advocacy on the health care reform legislation currently before Congress.”

Bill Hawkins, Chairman and CEO of Medtronic, Inc., a company that employs 700 Hoosiers in Warsaw, Ind., added, “Senator Bayh has worked tirelessly with his colleagues in the Senate to minimize the negative effects such a tax could have on the medical device industry. On behalf of our employees in Warsaw, Indiana and around the world, we offer our appreciation to him for his leadership on this issue.”

Source: Office of U.S. Senator Evan Bayh

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