The House Ways and Means Committee today continued its markup of various health care-related tax bills that are “aimed at expanding consumer-directed health care and lowering premiums.”
Yesterday the committee approved three bills that would expand access and use of health savings accounts (HSAs) to cover needed services. One bill (H.R. 6301), sponsored by Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Mike Thompson (D-CA), would allow enrollees in high-deductible health plans to utilize health savings accounts to pay for lower-cost services like primary care visits or diabetic testing strips without having to meet deductibles.
“This bill will enable more plans to qualify for HSAs, helping millions of Americans save for their health care costs and promoting smart health care decision-making,” said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) in his opening statement.
The committee was scheduled to take up eight other related bills today, one of which (H.R. 4616) would further delay the so-called Cadillac tax on high-cost employer-provided plans, until 2021.
While a few of the health care bills under consideration this week were bipartisan, Ways and Means Democrats largely criticized this week’s markup as part of Republicans’ continued effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. One of the bills being considered today, sponsored by Reps. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), would retroactively suspend the ACA’s employer mandate requiring employers with at least 50 employees to provide coverage or pay a fine.
“Most of the legislation today does very little for the average American,” said Ways and Means Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA). “Instead, we should be strengthening and protecting already existing programs like the ACA, Medicare and Medicaid – not slashing them.”