Iowa Congressman Tom Latham voted on Thursday for legislation that will lower the cost of health care for millions of Americans, a key objective that the new health care law inadequately addresses.
The legislation, which was approved by a bipartisan majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, would repeal a harmful tax on medical devices and misguided restrictions on flexible savings accounts and health savings accounts that were enacted under the new health care law.
"The simple truth is that health care costs too much in this country," Congressman Latham said following the vote. "Unfortunately, the president's new health care law misses the mark when it comes to lowering costs and premiums for millions of hardworking taxpayers. In many ways, the new law will force Americans to spend even more on health care. This legislation, on the other hand, erases some of the most harmful provisions in the new health care law and reverses the job-destroying effect those provisions would have on our fragile economy."
The new health care law, if left on the books, would impose a 2.3 percent tax on the sale of medical devices by manufacturers or importers beginning in 2013. Such a tax would increase the effective tax rate for many medical technology companies. As a result, device companies are expected to pass the cost of the tax onto consumers, lay off workers, and cut research for innovative new medical devices.
The legislation approved by the House on Thursday would eliminate the tax as well as reverse limitations on the purchase of over-the-counter medications imposed by the new health care law, granting Americans the ability to use the accounts for a wider range of legitimate medical expenses.
"I'm doing everything I can to remove the stifling economic uncertainty that has been created by the endless spending, borrowing and taxing of recent years," Congressman Latham said. "This legislation is another step toward removing those burdens so American families, farmers and businesses can better achieve economic security."