Last week, 18 Democratic U.S. Senators sent a letter to Sen. Harry Reid asking for a delay in the medical device tax due to go into effect in 2013, citing the importance of the industry to the U.S. economy.  The medical device tax, a 2.3% federal tax on the price of medical devices, is another crippling tax that’s part of Obamacare. When we saw the news, we thought for sure that two of the 18 Senators who signed the letter would be Colorado’s U.S. Senators, Sen. Mark Udall and Sen. Michael Bennet, given the importance of the medical device industry to Colorado’s economy.  But, their fingerprints were nowhere to be found on this letter.  Here’s a snippet of what everyone else’s U.S. Senators (not Colorado’s) said in the letter:

Since this letter is nationally-focused, it understandably doesn’t cover the importance of the industry to Colorado’s economy.  And, perhaps Sens. Bennet and Udall have forgotten how important the medical device industry is to the state.

According to April Giles, President and CEO of the Colorado BioScience Association, “the medical device sector makes up 50% of the [bioscience] industry for Colorado, with employment growth far exceeding the other sectors at 14.5% over the past 4 years.”

Here’s a few stats from the Colorado Bioscience Association:

  • The region’s medical device sector, a subsection of the bioscience industry, is the sixth-largest in the nation
  • Employment in the industry grew 8.1% from 2005-2010
  • Colorado employs 20,000 people in the bioscience industry, creating 100,000 direct and indirect jobs, translating into $7 billion in payroll, at an average salary of $74,000
  • For every job created in Colorado’s bioscience industry, four direct and indirect jobs are created

Given the importance of the medical device industry to the U.S. economy and to Colorado’s economy, it’s surprising that Sens. Udall and Bennet failed to act on this matter.  The fact is that the medical device industry is already preparing for the tax onslaught with even Pat Stryker’s company planning to layoff 5% of its staff worldwide. It seems that Sens. Bennet and Udall care more about ideology and carrying water for the Democratic Party than they do about Colorado jobs.