House Approves Bill Repealing Part of Health Care Reform Law
By J. Craig Shearman
Washington Retail Insight
June 7, 2012
The House today approved legislation supported by NRF that would repeal some elements of the controversial federal health care reform law.
“The bill is a welcome step toward the ultimate repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” NRF Vice President and Employee Benefits Policy Counsel Neil Trautwein said. “The House bill appropriately focuses on reducing health care costs instead of adding more government mandates and burdensome regulations.”
H.R. 436, the Health Care Cost Reduction Act, passed 270-146, with 37 Democrats joining Republicans. But Democratic leaders in the Senate say they do not plan to bring the bill up for a vote, and President Obama has threatened to veto the measure if it reaches his desk.
The measure would repeal a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices such as X-ray machines and replacement hips that is scheduled to take effect in January as part of the health care law. The tax would add an estimated $29 billion to the cost of such items over the next decade and the revenue would be used to fund other portions of the law.
The bill would also repeal a “medicine cabinet tax” that bans the use of Flexible Spending Account money to purchase over-the-counter medications without a prescription, and would protect up to $500 of FSA funds from use-it-or-lose-it rules.
“The retail industry is very sensitive to labor costs, of which health care coverage costs are playing an increasing and job-deterring role,” Trautwein said.
© 2012 National Retail Federation
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