This week, the House passed H.R. 436, the Protect Medical Innovation Act. The legislation focused on three issues affecting the health care industry. First, it repeals the medical device tax established under ObamaCare that will take effect next year. The 2.3 percent tax will be imposed on the sale of medical devices by manufacturers or importers. According to an industry study, up to 43,000 American jobs could be eliminated due to this new tax.
"It seems like every day we find a new problem within ObamaCare," stated Westmoreland. "There are new taxes, unsustainable programs even the White House admits won't work, and more bureaucratic red tape than I have ever seen in my lifetime. That's why I strongly support fully repealing this destructive law and, like many Americans, am awaiting the decision by the Supreme Court at the end of this month on the constitutionality of it. In the mean time, I'm going to continue to work with my colleagues here in the House to repeal as many of the harmful aspects of ObamaCare as we can."
H.R. 436 also contains provisions dealing with health-related savings accounts. Under ObamaCare, Americans may not currently use tax-free distributions in their health-related savings accounts to purchase over-the-counter medications without a prescription from a physician. Over-the-counter medications are often just as important -- and as expensive -- as prescription medications and should be an acceptable expense for health-related savings accounts. H.R. 436 fixes this provision of ObamaCare. It also adjusts current law to allow Americans to keep unused flexible spending accounts (FSAs) up to $500 at the end of each year. The unused money would be included as taxable income for the employee.
"These health-related savings accounts that many employers offer are a great way for American families to pay for their health care expenses," stated Westmoreland. "With ObamaCare making health care and health insurance even more expensive, these tax-free savings accounts provide a much needed relief. H.R. 436 makes these small changes to the rules for health-related savings accounts so they are able to be a useful tool for all Americans."
The legislation passed the House with large bipartisan support by a vote of 270-146 and was sent to the Senate. It is unclear at this time if or when the Senate will act on it.