Welch Allyn layoffs now hot topic in race for Congress in Central New York

Welch Allyn says the decision to reduce its workforce by 10 percent over the next three years wasn't a choice. And concern is growing over the pending loss of good paying jobs.

Judith Lockwood expressed concern on her way to a lunch date in Skaneateles.

"I'm worried about the community and of course the economy, the local economy," says Lockwood.

Welsh Allyn says it's reacting to a 2.3% medical device tax set to begin in 2013. This is perhaps the first tangible evidence of the law's impact in Central New York. It's always been a hot issue, but now it's front and center in the race for Congress in Central New York.

"The Affordable Care Act may have been well intentioned but the reality is its going to cost jobs, its going to cost money, and it's going to impact the economy and jobs in upstate New York," says Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle.

Even Congresswoman Buerkle's challenger, Democrat Dan Maffei agrees the US Medical Device Tax is killing jobs.

"I fought against this tax in congress. I worked directly with Welsh Allyn at that times to try to fight it together and I oppose the tax now and think it should be appealed," says Maffei.

The people in Skaneateles are divided on whether the Affordable Care Act is to blame. Pat Gorton shared his opinion while taking a walk on his lunch break.

"First and foremost, this is a primary example of the government influence being negative on local businesses," says Gorton.

Floyd Backles is a local manufacturer who has worked with Welsh Allyn closely over the past decade.

"My initial reaction when I hear that in conjunction with the 45 people is this is a political statement more than anything," says Backles.

And as the election heats up, it's clear the layoffs at Welch Allyn will be a critical argument in the race for congress.