We know how important it is to have choice and flexibility in managing our health care expenses, particularly when it comes to the medicines our families need. So it doesn't make sense that President Obama's health care reform law took away some of those rights.
While we both supported repealing the president's entire health care reform law, the motion was blocked. Now we are teaming up to introduce a bipartisan bill, the Restoring Access to Medication Act. Our bill would repeal a portion of the new health care reform law that prohibits people from using their medical savings accounts to buy over-the-counter (OTC) medications like cough syrup or allergy medicines without first getting a doctor's prescription.
It would enable the nearly 50 million Americans who participate in medical savings accounts, such as Flexible Savings Accounts and other health savings accounts, to use those funds to purchase OTC medications without the added inconvenience and cost of a visit to the doctor.
Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV) joined us in introducing this bill. We're pleased members from both sides of the political aisle could agree that this portion of the health care reform law unnecessarily burdens doctors, and directs people to potentially more costly, less convenient, and more time-consuming alternatives.
Medical savings accounts encourage personal ownership of our health care by giving individuals control over health care decisions and how to pay for that care. Personal ownership and responsibility is something government should encourage, not discourage. A law that claims to reform our broken health care system should not take away our right to spend our money as we see fit.
Senator Pat Roberts & Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins