Klobuchar hopeful on repeal of med-tech tax

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Monday said she's optimistic a tax on medical devices will be overturned.

The senator told executives at a Minneapolis medical device industry conference she's not only confident Congress will repeal the 2.3 percent tax, she expects the measure can be linked to tax reform or other legislation likely to avoid a presidential veto.

One such bill could be soon-to-be-retiring Sen. Max Baucus' tax reform effort, Klobuchar said.

"That will be a major vehicle for us to include the repeal of the medical device tax or at least some major reduction," Klobuchar said.

The tax is expected to raise $2 billion to $3 billion a year to help fund the federal health care overhaul. Supporters of the tax say med-tech firms will benefit from an expansion of health care coverage.

The industry disputes that saying most people who'd gain health care coverage are young and don't need medical devices.

Efforts to repeal the tax failed last year. But Klobuchar says support for overturning the tax has grown. "It's very exciting the possibility of simplifying your tax code and making sure it's fair for everyone and also making out businesses more competitive," Klobuchar said. "We see this repeal as part of that effort."