The Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare on Thursday sent a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee outlining its support for several health care bills. The American Farm Bureau Federation, along with 30 other organizations representing small businesses, is part of the coalition.
The group thanked the committee for going to markup on “helpful measures that repeal harmful tax increases and limitations in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and assist small businesses and their employees with the chronic problem of rising healthcare costs.”
The coalition supports H.R. 436, the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2011, introduced by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), which would repeal the new 2.3 percent tax on medical devices. The tax would be passed through to consumers in the form of higher health insurance premiums. Repealing the tax would prevent adding to the increased healthcare costs of small businesses and their employees.
The coalition also supports H.R. 5842, the Restoring Access to Medications Act, introduced by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), which would repeal the prohibition on using tax-preferred funds from Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Arrangements to purchase over-the-counter medications. This prohibition, which began in 2011, drives up healthcare costs because it forces individuals to seek out more expensive prescription medication and/or visit physician offices for routine medical care that could have been treated with more affordable treatment options.