Walorski Votes for Bills to Lower Health Care Costs, Expand Patient Choice

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Walorski Votes for Bills to Lower Health Care Costs, Expand Patient Choice

House Passes Legislation to Delay Health Insurance Tax, Modernize Health Savings Accounts

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today voted for two bills aimed at expanding consumer-directed health care and lowering premiums for individuals and 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 commonsense solutions will improve flexibility, expand consumer choice, and bring down costs. By delaying the costly health insurance tax and modernizing tax-advantaged health savings accounts, we are taking an important step to empower families and help ease the financial burden of health care.”

BACKGROUND

H.R. 6311, the Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act, which passed the House by a vote of 242 to 176, would:

  • Make more individuals eligible for tax-advantaged health savings accounts (HSAs) and increase allowable contributions;
  • Allow flexible spending account (FSA) balances to be carried forward each year;
  • Allow anyone in the individual market to access lower cost “catastrophic” plans;
  • Make “bronze” and “catastrophic” plans eligible for an HSA; and
  • Delay Obamacare’s health insurance tax for an additional two years, providing relief from premium increases caused by the tax.

H.R. 6199, the Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act, which passed the House by a vote of 277 to 142, would expand the range of qualified medical expenses, including allowing health savings account (HSA) funds to be used for over-the-counter medical products.

Walorski spoke on the House floor in support of the provision in H.R. 6311 that would delay the health insurance tax for two years. In May, Walorski helped introduce H.R. 5963, bipartisan legislation to delay the tax until after 2020.

Video of Walorski speaking on the House floor is available here. The full text of her remarks is below.

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I rise in support of H.R. 6311, the Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act.

“This important bill contains a two-year delay of the Health Insurance Tax, or HIT. Like the medical device tax, which the House voted yesterday to repeal, the HIT is yet another damaging tax from Obamacare. It raises premiums for families, small businesses, and seniors and the disabled enrolled in Medicare Advantage. In fact, the HIT could raise annual premiums for the typical Medicare Advantage couple by $500 if it returns in 2020.

“I’m a proud original cosponsor with Representatives Noem, Sinema, and Bera of HR 5963, which delays the HIT for two years, and I’m thrilled the bill we’re voting on today includes it.

“I look forward to the day when we can finally repeal this tax that falls on the backs of seniors, the disabled, small businesses, and hardworking families, but until then I urge my colleagues to support delaying it and I yield back.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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