Good morning. Today, we will separately consider four health care measures, two repealing portions of the Democrats’ health care law and two advancing new opportunities to lower costs and increase flexibility for health care consumers.
The repeal provisions target two of the taxes in the law – the medical device tax and the ban on using health-related savings accounts for over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Both of these bills have bipartisan support from Members on and off this Committee, and so I am hopeful we will advance them in a bipartisan manner today.
Today, we will also take steps to spur greater flexibility of health-related savings accounts – specifically, through needed improvements to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs). Given that the most recent HSA census shows over 13.5 million Americans were enrolled in an HSA in 2011, an increase of nearly 2 million in the last year, it is clear that HSAs are becoming increasingly attractive to consumers.
Additionally, with more than 33 million people enrolled in an FSA, there is more reason than ever to ensure that consumers have the utmost flexibility in using these accounts to meet their health care needs.
As these provisions are championed by a number of Members of this Committee, I will forgo my usual opening statement and will now recognize Mr. Paulsen on the medical device tax legislation, then Ms. Jenkins on OTC, followed by Dr. Boustany on FSAs and Chairman Herger on HSAs.