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Below is a copy of a letter sent to Professor Elizabeth Warren this morning from myself and fellow State Representaive Elizabeth Poirier. We are calling on Ms. Warren to speak up for Massachusetts medical device companies by calling on her party's leaders for a repeal of the 2.3% Medical Device Excise Tax set to take effect in January 2013. It is our hope that Ms. Warren lends her voice and joins Senator Scott Brown in fighting to keep the Massachusetts economy strong.
State Representative Jay Barrows
1st Bristol District
PO Box 57, Foxborough, MA 02035
State Representative Elizabeth Poirier
14th Bristol District
53 Ledgebrook Dr, North Attleborough, MA 02766
Monday, July 16, 2012
Professor Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren For Senate
5 Middlesex Ave, First Floor
Somerville, MA 02145
Dear Professor Warren,
We write to you today to express our grave concern about the future of an industry here in Massachusetts that is critical to our economy. As you know, our state is home to more than 400 medical device companies that employ more than 25,000 people directly and are responsible for 80,000 other jobs in related industries. Two major companies are located within the communities we are privileged to serve and we have witnessed first-hand the positive economic impact they have made in our area.
Right now, the medical device community is a thriving and growing industry, but the threat of the looming 2.3% excise tax set to take effect in January 2013 as part of the federal health care legislation imperils our future. Simply put, this tax would be a jobs-killer, and our industry cannot afford it. In many cases, this tax would wipe out the entire net profit, forcing companies to cut back, lay people off and prevent future hiring.
There have been multiple efforts by Congress to repeal this tax, but unfortunately obstructionism in Washington has prevented progress on this front. Just last week, your party's leadership in the United State Senate blocked the latest attempt to repeal this job-killing tax.
Although we were heartened to learn in April that you would join Sen. Scott Brown supporting repeal of this tax, your silence since then has been deafening. Worse, you have outright declared that we need to "move on" from this debate. That is hardly the leadership Massachusetts businesses and employees in the medical device space expect from their would-be senator, and it is a startling statement coming from someone who seeks to represent Massachusetts interests in Washington, D.C. There is much more you can and should do.
In the immediate term,we urge you to publicly intervene with your party's leadership and encourage them to allow the repeal of this job-killer to come before the Senate where it can receive a fair up or down vote. In the event that effort fails, we would urge you to reverse course from your stated intention to "move on," and instead declare that you will make it your mission - as Sen. Brown has made it his - to stand up for Massachusetts and continue the fight to repeal of this unfair, job destroying tax that targets an industry so important to our state.
The failure of Congress to act before January would be devastating for the future medical manufacturing industry and the Massachusetts economy. As your party's nominee for Senate, you have a responsibility to stand up for your state's interests and do everything in your power to prevent this tax from becoming law. It's the least we can expect from someone who wants to make it their full-time job to represent the Commonwealth in the Senate.
We call on you to join Senator Brown, many of our colleagues in the House of Representatives and, most importantly, Massachusetts medical device companies and their hard-working employees in fighting to keep the Commonwealth economy strong and open for business.
Thank you for your attention to this very important matter. We look forward to your response.
Representative F. Jay Barrows, 1st Bristol
Representative Elizabeth Poirier, 14th Bristol