Congressman Rick Berg today voted in the House Ways & Means Committee to advance four pieces of legislation, two of which repeal further components of the fiscally-burdensome Obamacare. All four pieces of legislation were voted out of committee.
"North Dakotans have sent a clear message to Washington that they did not want President Obama's government takeover of health care," stated Berg. "Obamacare forces numerous barriers to care and new costs upon America's small businesses and families in a time when many Americans are already struggling to make ends meet. Further, President Obama's health care overhaul threatens our seniors' access to affordable care by cutting $500 billion from Medicare and putting an unelected board of bureaucrats in charge of Medicare payments. I was pleased to vote in favor of these four bills when they were considered before the Ways & Means Committee earlier today, and will do so again when they are considered by the entire House of Representatives. I will continue to fight to put an end to President Obama's burdensome and costly health care overhaul and work for real reform that North Dakotans have asked for."
Berg has repeatedly voted to repeal various components of Obamacare. The legislation will now be considered before the entire House.
Below is a summary of the four pieces of legislation that Berg supported today in the Ways & Means Committee.
H.R. 436 (Paulsen) -- Repeals Obamacare's Medical Device Tax, which imposes a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices starting in 2013. The Medical Device Tax will 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, cut R&D, or a combination of the three.
H.R. 5842 (Jenkins) -- Repeals the Democrats' "Medicine Cabinet Tax", which imposes new restrictions on the purchase of over-the-counter medications through tax-advantaged accounts, that went into effect January 1, 2011. It is one of the first of the Democrats' health care law's $569 billion in tax increases. The sole purpose of the tax was to raise revenue ($5 billion) to help pay for the over $1 trillion in new spending. The tax hits any American with a health savings account (HSA), flexible spending arrangement (FSA), health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), or medical savings account (MSA).
H.R. 1004 (Boustany) -- Allows flexible spending account (FSA) holders to cash out up to $500 in unused funds remaining in an FSA at the end of the year. If unused funds are cashed out, they would be included as part of the employee's taxable income.
H.R. 5858 (Herger) -- The HSA Improvements Act (H.R. 5858) supports the continued growth of High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) and Health Savings
Accounts (HSAs) through administrative simplification and common sense improvements to the eligibility, contribution, and expenditure rules governing HSAs. HSAs and HDHPs give individuals and families the power to plan, save and shop for their own health care needs. HSAs have existed since 2004, and every year, more and more Americans are enrolling in these consumer-directed health plans. In contrast to the top down, government- mandated approach of Obamacare, HSAs put the consumer in charge of his or her own health care.
It is expected that the two bills to repeal components of Obamacare will reach the House floor for a full vote in early June.