Medical companies brace for 'devastating' ObamaCare tax, prepare for layoffs

December 14, 2012

Andre DiMino has been running medical device company ADM Tronics since his father, who founded the decades-old firm, died in 2001. He's never laid off anybody. 

"These people are like family with us," he said. 

The boss might not be able to hold out much longer. Come Jan. 1, an ObamaCare-tied tax specific to his industry is expected to go into effect. Though the Obama administration has downplayed the impact, DiMino calls it "devastating." 

"I think after all of these decades of not laying people off, I think we may have to face that," DiMino told FoxNews.com. He predicted he might have to immediately lay off three people in his manufacturing division and possibly more after that. 

DiMino, whose Bergen County, N.J., business currently employs 20 workers, is one of hundreds of CEOs across the country clamoring for Washington's attention, urging lawmakers to kill the tax before it kills jobs. 

In just the last few days, the intense lobbying push elicited some measure of response. On Monday, 18 Democratic senators and senators-elect asked Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid to delay the tax, citing the business impact. They noted the industry employs more than 400,000 people, and is dealing with "significant uncertainty and confusion." 

Many in the industry, though, have been clear-eyed about what the tax means -- preemptive layoffs and significant cutbacks in research and development. 

While DiMino is waiting for next year to see if he'll need to fire workers, over at Uresil, LLC, in Skokie, Ill., the layoffs have already started. The company laid off six people from its 52-person workforce this year, "primarily related" to the tax, President Lev Melinyshyn said. 

"We had never laid off anybody," he told FoxNews.com. "We bought the company in 2004, never had a layoff. In fact, even during the recession, we added jobs. ... It wasn't until this tax hit us that we had to do it." 

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