Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22) today voted to protect medical device manufacturers from a punitive 2.3% excise tax imposed by President Obama's new health care law. The Health Care Cost Reduction Act, H.R. 436, which Olson cosponsored, repeals a tax on medical device sales that increases costs for manufacturers and consumers, and jeopardizes American jobs. The tax would also increase costs for patients. This bill also repeals provisions in the health care law that prohibit consumers from using health savings accounts and flexible spending arrangements to pay expenses for over-the-counter drugs, and instead of losing any remaining balances, account owners will be able to keep unused balances up to $500.
"Americans depend on the life-saving technologies and tools that doctors and medical professionals use to enhance the quality of our health care," Congressman Olson said. "Taxing the purchase of vital medical devices will impact the quality of health care and cause American job losses. My colleagues and I voted to repeal this harmful tax to protect quality health care, jobs and American innovation. We will continue to work to repeal ObamaCare in its entirety and adopt sensible reforms to provide access to affordable care."
According to a study by MEDTAP International, from 1980 to 2000, the medical device industry was responsible for a 4% increase in US life expectancy, a 16% decrease in mortality rates, with a 25% decline in elderly disability rates. H.R. 436 passed the House by a vote of 270-146.