Today, H.R. 5842, the Restoring Access to Medication Act, which Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins authored and introduced, crossed another hurdle toward becoming law as it passed out of a full Ways and Means Committee mark up with bi-partisan support.
Congresswoman Jenkins released the following statement after her legislation passed out of committee:
"The President's health care law is full of pitfalls that make health care more expensive for average Americans. While we await the Supreme Court's ruling on constitutionality of the entire health care overhaul, there is bi-partisan, bi-cameral agreement that requiring folks to have a doctor's prescription to buy medicine as simple as Advil or cough syrup with their health savings account or flexible savings account is simply wrong. I introduced the Restoring Access to Medication Act, H.R. 5842, to repeal this unnecessary and punitive provision of Obamacare. I am pleased my legislation received bi-partisan support today as it passed out of committee, and look forward to it receiving a vote in the full House in short order." Jenkins said.
This legislation which would repeal section 9003 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as Obamacare, restoring the ability of those participating in a medical savings account, such as a Flexible Savings Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA), or other similar types of medical savings account, to use these funds to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
Under current law, plan participants may no longer use funds from these accounts to purchase OTC medications, unless they have a prescription for the medication. In Kansas, and throughout the U.S., a broad coalition of groups support H.R. 5842, which seeks to make healthcare more affordable. This groups include consumer groups, the U.S. Chamber, pharmacist groups, and drug store organizations.
Nearly 50 million Americans participate in FSAs and other health savings accounts. The accounts allow individuals to set aside their own money each year on a pre-tax basis to pay for health care expenses, such as co-payments, and other health care expenses not covered by insurance, prescriptions or over-the-counter medications.