U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-09) issued the following statement after voting to repeal a tax created by President Obama’s health care law. Rep. Graves is a co-sponsor of H.R. 436, the Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012, which repeals the 2.3% excise tax implemented by Obamacare on medical devices. The tax is scheduled to go into effect beginning in 2013 and would apply to devices like pacemakers, doctor’s office equipment, nebulizers for asthma, and joint replacements. The legislation also repeals an Obamacare provision that forbids Americans from using money in their Health Savings Accounts or Flex Spending Accounts to pay for over-the-counter drugs.
“While I am hopeful the Supreme Court will rule that Obamacare is unconstitutional, piece by piece, House Republicans will continue to work to repeal it. At a time when Americans are struggling to find jobs and put food on the table, the last thing this country needs is a new tax that will increase our medical costs. Instead of forcing more government taxation and interference on the American people, we need to be embracing market-driven solutions to control health care costs.”
“Health Savings Accounts and Flex Spending Accounts were established so the American people could put in reserve their own money to cover medical costs. The government shouldn’t get to decide if citizens spend that money on prescription drugs or over-the-counter cold medicine. Americans should have the freedom to spend the money they’ve earned and set aside for medical expenses with minimal interference from the federal government.”
The Health Care Cost Reduction Act also lets Americans keep more of the money they’ve put in Health Flex Spending Accounts (FSAs). Currently, if the money in an FSA isn’t spent during the coverage period (usually January 1 through March 15 of the following year), the leftover money is forfeited by the employee. H.R. 436 would let Americans keep up to $500 of their unused FSA money. The bill also repeals a section of Obamacare which caps the amount federally-subsidized health insurance plans can recover from someone who received excess payments, so more improperly spent taxpayers’ money can be recouped.