U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 436, the Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012, which repeals more adverse provisions of the Affordable Care Act. This legislation halts impending increases to health care costs as a result of the medical device tax, which is scheduled to go into effect January, and removes barriers to increasing participation in consumer-driven medical flexible spending arrangements.
"Set to begin in 2013, the 2.3 percent tax will be imposed on the sale of nearly all medical devices. This looming tax increase is already hampering the industry's capabilities to hire and retain American talent, and it will restrict needed funds for product innovation and critical medical research. Another unintended consequence of the tax is that device companies are expected to pass the costs onto consumers through elevated prices and higher insurance premiums.
"The legislation in front of the House today also removes the new requirement that Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts and similar health accounts cannot be used to purchase more cost-efficient, over-the-counter medications unless individuals obtain a prescription from a physician. This condition needlessly prohibits account holders from addressing their own health care needs in a convenient and affordable manner.
"Many of us opposed this massive invasion of government in our private health care system when it was first shown the light of day, and we have since been tackling harmful provisions in the law from various fronts. Two more burdensome policies were addressed in the House today. I urge the Senate to follow suit."