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Medical Device Manufacturers Warn Tax Increases Would Hurt Industry

Medical device makers are warning of job losses and other consequences if a 2.3 percent excise tax takes effect on Jan. 1, as scheduled.

The tax is one of several imposed on segments of the health care industry to pay for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Lobbyists representing the medical device industry have been urging Congress to include a postponement of the tax as part of any compromise to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

A number of Massachusetts Democrats who otherwise strongly support the president's health care plan, including Sen. John Kerry and Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren, have also called for a delay or repeal of the tax.

An industry group says nearly 24,000 people in Massachusetts work for medical device companies, which generate about $13 billion in annual sales.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.