Walorski Votes to Send Health Care Bills to House Floor
Ways and Means Committee Approves Measures to Expand Consumer Choice, Lower Costs
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today voted in the Ways and Means Committee to send a series of health care bills to the House floor that would improve flexibility, expand consumer choice, and lower costs for families.
“With rising premiums and fewer options, Hoosier families need more affordable health care and more control over how they pay for it,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “These bills are all about flexibility, consumer choice, and bringing down costs. We are one step closer to helping families reduce the burdens of health care expenses and empowering them to better plan for the future.”
The Ways and Means Committee this week approved 11 bills aimed at expanding consumer-directed health care and lowering premiums for individuals and families.
The legislation included measures to expand and modernize tax-advantaged health savings accounts (HSAs), allow for an off-ramp from Obamacare’s rising premiums, provide retroactive relief from the burdensome employer mandate, and further delay the health care law’s costly “Cadillac tax.”
Walorski spoke at the committee markup about H.R. 6313, the Responsible Additions and Increases to Sustain Employee Health Benefits Act of 2018, which would allow balances in flexible spending accounts (FSAs) to be carried forward each year. The bill would repeal the “use-it-or-lose-it” rule that prohibits rolling over FSA balances. Video of Walorski’s remarks on H.R. 6313 is available here.
The committee approved the following bills for consideration on the House floor:
- H.R. 6199 – reverses Obamacare’s prohibition on using tax-favored health accounts to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medical products and adds feminine or “menstrual care” products to the list of qualified medical expenses for the purposes of these tax-favored health accounts.
- H.R. 6301 – expands access and enhances the utility of health savings accounts (HSAs) by offering health plans a certain amount of flexibility in their plan design while still maintaining eligibility for HSA contributions. This flexibility will allow insurers to offer coverage for high-value, low-cost services like telehealth, chronic disease management (e.g. diabetic testing strips), or primary care visits below the deductible.
- H.R. 6305 – expands access and enhances the utility of HSAs through three common-sense improvements to the rules governing HSAs: (1) clarifying that certain employment related services (such as on-site clinics) are not treated as disqualifying coverage for purposes of HSAs; (2) allowing an eligible individual to make HSA contributions if a spouse has a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), provided that FSA does not also reimburse for expenses of the spouse with the HSA; and (3) allowing FSA and Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) terminations or conversions to fund HSAs.
- H.R. 6317 – allows HSA-eligible individuals that participate in a direct primary care (DPC) arrangement not to lose their HSA-eligibility merely because of their participation in a DPC. In addition, it allows DPC provider fees to be paid for out of HSAs.
- H.R. 6312 – adds qualified sports and fitness expenses to the definition of qualified medical expenses.
- H.R. 6309 – expands access to HSAs for working seniors.
- H.R. 6306 – expands access and enhances the utility of HSAs by: (1) increasing the contributions limits for HSAs; (2) permitting spousal catch-up contributions into the same account; and (3) creating a grace period for medical expenses incurred before the establishment of an HSA.
- H.R. 6314 – expands eligibility and access to HSAs by allowing plans categorized as catastrophic and bronze in the individual and small group markets to qualify for HSA contributions.
- H.R. 6311 – provides an off-ramp from Obamacare’s rising premiums and limited choices by allowing the premium tax credit to be used for qualified plans offered outside of the law’s exchanges and Healthcare.gov. In addition, it expands access to the lowest-premium plans available (“catastrophic” plans) for all individuals purchasing coverage in the individual market and allows the premium tax credit to be used to offset the cost of such plans.
- H.R. 6313 – allows balances in FSAs to be carried forward each year.
- H.R. 4616 – provides retroactive relief from Obamacare’s employer mandate and one additional year of delay in the implementation of the law’s Cadillac tax.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.