Today, the House of Representatives peeled back another three layers of the national healthcare law, commonly referred to as ObamaCare. With passage of the Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012 (HR 436) by a vote of 270-146, the House has cleared the way to eliminate the Medical Device Tax, thus lowering costs for patients who need medical devices. Part of Obamacare, the 2.3% excise tax on the U.S. sale of medical devices puts a significant burden on the industry and creates a more difficult environment in which to invent and produce new, life-saving products and to promote medical device manufacturing jobs.
The Health Care Cost Reduction Act contained two additional provisions which allow for greater patient choice and flexibility. The Restoring Access to Medication Act, introduced by fellow Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (KS-02), will allow healthcare consumers with Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Savings Accounts (HSAs or FSAs) to purchase over-the-counter medication without a prescription with their HSA or FSA funds.
The Medical FSA Improvement Act will allow FSA holders to keep up to $500 of their healthcare savings as taxable wages. Currently, FSA funds operate under a "use-it-or-lose-it" approach. While FSA holders get to save money, tax-free, for their healthcare expenses throughout the year, what isn't spent by year end is taken back by the plan.
Congressman Mike Pompeo issued the following statement upon passage:
"Since I ran for Congress, one of my uppermost goals has been to repeal and replace ObamaCare. 70% of Americans want ObamaCare repealed, and Republicans in the House of Representatives are doing our job by acting on the will of the people.
"Today, even as we await the Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, we took three more positive steps toward eliminating that terrible legislation. These bills provide Kansans and all Americans with greater choices and more flexibility to meet their healthcare needs, and we removed a barrier for small companies looking to create jobs. It's time to return individuals to the driver's seat so they can make the best healthcare decisions for themselves and their families."
"I also want to congratulate Congresswoman Jenkins on her thoughtful leadership through the Ways and Means Committee on the over-the-counter medication piece of this important legislation," stated Pompeo