[StBernard] The Fleming Health Care Repeal Update

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Sat Oct 16 11:13:01 EDT 2010

Taxing Over-the-Counter Medications

Under the new health care reform law, over-the-counter drugs cannot be reimbursed tax-free from Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) without a prescription beginning January 1, 2011.

Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards (SIGIS) released a list of the more than 15,000 over-the-counter medications that will soon require a prescription for a tax-free withdrawal from an HSA or an FSA under the new health care reform law:

* Acid Controllers

* Allergy and Sinus medicine

* Antibiotics

* Anti-Gas Products

* Anti-Itch and Insect Bite

* Baby Rash Ointments/Creams

* Cold Sore Remedies

* Cough, Cold, and Flu

* Digestive Aids

* Pain Relievers

* Respiratory Treatments

* Stomach Remedies

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: As of May 2010, approximately 10 million Americans were covered under HSA plans for their family’s health care needs. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that this provision of the new health care law will cost American families $5 billion.

THE DOCTOR'S DIAGNOSIS: Americans need more affordable access to health care, not higher taxes on over-the-counter medication. For this reason, I have introduced H.R. 5126, the “Helping Save Americans’ Health Care Choices Act,” which will roll back these taxes on over-the-counter medications and ensure that affordable choices will remain available to Americans.

I firmly believe that high-deductible plans associated with HSA’s are a key option for providing affordable health care. As an article published in the Wall Street Journal earlier this spring put it: “To a large extent, increased health care spending is a consequence [the fact that] neither the patient, the doctor, the insurance company, nor any government program has incentive to spend health care dollars efficiently.” High deductable plans associated with HSAs create exactly those incentives, giving families ownership over their health care spending so that they can be careful and informed shoppers.

I will continue to work to repeal what I firmly believe to be an onerous and unconstitutional health care reform law which passed last March and find market-based solutions to our health care needs.


Member of Congress

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