Franken says push to repeal medical device tax will continue

(MPR Photo/Mark Zdechlik)

DFL Sen. Al Franken says he and other lawmakers are not giving up their effort to repeal the medical device tax passed as part of the Affordable Care Act.

After meeting with medical device industry leaders in St. Paul Thursday morning, Franken told reporters the tax is hurting Minnesota companies and pushing jobs overseas.

Franken and other lawmakers had sought to repeal the tax as part of the deal that ended the federal government shutdown, but he said better opportunities to get the tax repealed lie ahead.

“We feel, have always felt, that the best place for dealing with this is in a negotiation that isn’t so partisan in order to get a bill that the president will sign,” Franken said. “We had 79 senators, so a very bipartisan vote in the Senate on this to repeal … I feel very confident that we can do this going forward.”

President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have opposed congressional moves to repeal the medical device tax.

Franken said he does not support delaying the part of the health care law that requires everyone to have health insurance starting next year. Some opponents of the law have called for that because of the botched rollout of the federal health care website.