The unemployment rate has been at or above eight percent for more than three years, the economy is headed toward fiscal disaster, and the White House has done nothing but resort to its “latest distraction” to divert attention from its failed policies. House Republicans are filling the void left by the White House’s abject leadership failure and taking action this week on the Health Care Cost Reduction Act (H.R. 436) to save American jobs, reduce health care costs, and help families struggling to make ends meet in the Obama economy. Here’s more on the bill:
- Repealing the Job-Destroying Medical Device Tax: H.R. 436 eliminates the looming tax hike on medical devices that, according to a recently released report, will put up to 47,100 American jobs at risk. Several companies have already announced layoffs because of the tax hike, and others warn that the tax will continue to destroy jobs, throttle investment and stifle innovation in the medical device industry – the vast majority of which is comprised of small businesses – when it takes effect next year.
- Increasing Flexibility for Families and Reducing Health Care Costs: A burdensome provision in ObamaCare prevents millions of Americans with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) – which are increasingly being offered by small businesses - from using those funds to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medications without a doctor’s prescription. This creates an undue burden on families who are forced to see a doctor and pay a co-pay to purchase something as simple as cough syrup. As Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Erik Paulsen (R-MN) explained in a Roll Call op-ed earlier this year, nearly 90 percent of doctors and pharmacists “recommend that patients self-treat with OTC medicines before seeing a doctor,” which produces $6-$7 in savings for every $1 spent on an OTC medication, adding up to $102 billion in health care savings annually.
- Allowing Families to Keep More of Their Unused Health Care Dollars: Under current law, unused FSA funds are forfeited at the end of the plan year. H.R. 436 ends this “use it or lose it” policy by allowing FSA account holders to cash-out up to $500 in remaining FSA balances, allowing American families to keep more of their hard-earned dollars.
These three proposals will not only help protect jobs, but restore some of the options and flexibility Americans have been forced to sacrifice under ObamaCare. They are common-sense proposals that have garnered bipartisan support in the House, and should be passed and signed into law without delay.
The Republican-led House made a Pledge to America to repeal ObamaCare in its entirety, and did so as one of its earliest acts in the majority. This week’s vote on the Health Care Cost Reduction Act continues that effort, and will mark the 30th vote the House has taken to repeal, defund and dismantle the government takeover of health care. As Speaker Boehner has made clear, ObamaCare is “raising health costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire workers,” and anything short of full repeal “is unacceptable.”