Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-08), a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, today released this statement following Boeing's announcement that it would require non-union workers to pay much more for their health care plans in 2011:
"Today one of Washington state's largest employers has joined the growing ranks of companies that are altering their health care plans or increasing deductible and copayment costs for their employees due to "cost pressure' associated with the recent health care overhaul," Reichert said. "Increasing costs on employers when they're struggling to preserve jobs, wages, and benefits for families that are struggling to make ends meet takes us in the wrong direction. As our country faces record unemployment and continued economic challenges, the last thing individuals, families, and businesses need is to be saddled with the burdens and additional taxes created by the health care overhaul. Congress must get to work addressing the problematic provisions of this bill -- most importantly the components that are driving up the cost of health care."
BACKGROUNDThe Boeing Company has sent its employees a letter informing them that approximately 90,000 nonunion workers would be paying more for health care plans next year. The letter reads in part: "The newly enacted health care reform legislation, while intended to expand access to care for millions of uninsured Americans, is also adding cost pressure as requirements of the new law are phased in over the next several years." For more information on Congressman Reichert's solutions for health care, including his work during the House Ways & Means Committee debate on health care legislation, visit http://reichert.house.gov/HealthCare.
Reichert also recently introduced bipartisan legislation with Congressman Walt Minnick, (ID-01), the Restoring Assistance for Families and Seniors Health Expenses Act (H.R. 5936), that would repeal and replace troubling provisions of the health care overhaul recently signed into law. Specifically, this proposal would restore the 7.5 percent income threshold to deduct out-of-pocket medical expenses, repeal the cap on the maximum annual contribution to Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs), and repeal the ban that prohibits holders of FSAs and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) from using money from their accounts to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medicines.