Congressman Bob Gibbs released the following statement following passage of H.R. 436, The Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012:
"My first vote in Congress was to repeal the President's flawed healthcare plan because it does nothing to fix the problem of high cost healthcare in America. Since then, I have supported efforts to repeal the most devastating pieces of Obamacare and have been committed to proactively developing and passing solutions that promote the affordability, accessibility and quality of medicine.
"I am proud to say that today, the House repealed the ill-conceived medical device tax which would increase health care costs, reduce patient access to new technologies, and cost us hundreds of thousands of American jobs.
"The medical device tax included in the Affordable Care Act would impose a 2.3% tax on medical device manufacturers starting in 2013. The U.S. medical device industry employs over 423,000 Americans in good, rewarding jobs that pay higher than average salaries. In Ohio, about 20,000 workers are employed by medical-device and equipment manufacturers and more than 80% of those companies are small businesses employing 50 people or less.
"Implementation of this 2.3% tax on medical device manufacturers would push research, development, and manufacturing abroad and put thousands of these Ohio jobs at risk. Today's repeal reduces our deficit by $6.7 billion and stops job-destroying tax hikes, allowing us to promote job growth and help to restore the federal government to fiscal balance."
Summary of the "Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012" (H.R. 436)
(As posted on the Rules Committee website)
H.R. 436 combines four bipartisan policies to reduce health care costs, protect jobs, and reduce the deficit. Specifically, this bill would prevent health care costs from increasing as a result of the imposition of the medical device tax, and allow those with health savings accounts (HSAs), health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs), and similar types of health accounts to purchase more affordable over-the-counter medication without a prescription. By repealing the medical device tax, this bill would also protect 43,000 jobs in the United States. H.R. 436 also puts money back into Americans' wallets by allowing those with FSAs to "cash out" up to $500 at the end of the year, rather than losing those unspent funds. The bill is more than offset by requiring those who receive health insurance exchange premium subsidies to return any overpayments. H.R. 436 would reduce the deficit by $6.7 billion from fiscal years 2013-22.