On Thursday, H.R. 436, the Medical Device Tax Repeal Act, which I co-authored, passed through the House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support 270 to 146, clearing another hurdle to becoming law. It is now on its way to the Senate.
I authored H.R. 5842, the Restoring Access to Medication Act, which received bi-partisan support during its passage out of the House Ways and Means Committee. It was subsequently attached to H.R. 436, the Medical Device Tax Repeal Act. My section repeals the current requirement for Americans using medical savings accounts to have a doctor's prescription to buy standard over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as Advil or cough syrup. The current restrictions are burdensome and unnecessary.
Under current law, medical savings plan participants such as Flexible Savings Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA), or other similar types of medical savings accounts, may no longer use funds from these accounts to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medications, unless they have a prescription for the medication.
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, other health care expenses not covered by insurance, prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
The American public has known for some time now the President's health care law is full of hazards which increase the cost of health care on average Americans households. At work, the President's health care law is squeezing small businesses and making it harder to invest in jobs and the economy. While we wait for the Supreme Court's ruling on the constitutionality of the entire health care overhaul, members of the House of Representatives are working legislative improvements to the burdensome regulations Obamacare imposes on businesses and citizens alike.
With broad support, I championed this over-the-counter drug restriction repeal because it is a common-sense solution to a problem that should not have been created in the first place, and I am pleased with its passage today. I look forward to the Senate joining the House in passing this common-sense legislation that benefits Americans in all corners of our country