This week, House Republicans are expected to move forward on a bill (HR 436) that would repeal a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices that was created to help fund the federal health reform law, The Hill's "Floor Action Blog" reports. The measure also includes proposals from two other GOP bills (Kasperowicz, "Floor Action Blog," The Hill, 6/1).
One of the proposals, from a bill (HR 1004) by Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), would allow individuals with pre-tax flexible spending arrangements, or FSAs, to recoup up to $500 of unused funds. The second proposal, from a bill (HR 5842) by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), would eliminate restrictions under the overhaul on consumers' ability to use tax-preferred accounts to pay for the cost of over-the-counter medications (California Healthline, 6/1).
Democrats have argued that the effort is "nakedly political" and timed to correspond with the U.S. Supreme Court's expected ruling on the health reform law this month, The Hill reports. Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) said debating the bill is a "waste of time," adding that "Republicans are trying to poison the well before the Court decision" (Hooper, The Hill, 6/2).