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Walorski, Kind, Meng, LaHood Introduce Bill to Lower Health Care Costs

March 31, 2019
By

WalorskiU.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) last week introduced the bipartisan Restoring Access to Medication Act, which will improve access to care and help families afford the medications and other health care products they need. The bill will give individuals the ability to use Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) to purchase over-the-counter medications and menstrual care products.

“For millions of Americans, HSAs and FSAs are critical tools to pay for health care, but currently they can’t be used to buy over-the-counter medications,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Restoring this eligibility and expanding it to feminine hygiene products would improve both access and affordability. This is a bipartisan, commonsense way to lower costs and give consumers more control over their health care.”

“Families across the country are struggling with the costs of rising deductions and out-of-pocket expenses,” Rep. Kind said. “I am proud to support this common-sense bipartisan legislation that will allow families to use their savings accounts to purchase the items they need to stay healthy, for less money.”

“Millions of people rely on over the counter medicines each and every day and this bill would greatly help Americans afford these types of medications,” Rep. Meng said. “For years, I have been fighting to add menstrual hygiene products to the list of HSA-FSA eligible items, and I’m proud to continue championing that effort in this new legislation. There is no reason to prohibit individuals from using their HSA-FSA funds to pay for menstrual products. They are basic and essential items and adding them to the list of eligible expenses would go a long way toward making these products more affordable and accessible to women. I urge all my colleagues to support this important bipartisan legislation.”

“Health Savings Accounts are essential tools individuals and families use to receive quality healthcare needs at an affordable cost,” Rep. LaHood said. “Many Americans rely on over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to meet their basic healthcare needs and this commonsense, bipartisan bill will ensure OTC medicines can be purchased through HSAs. As we work to expand access to care while reducing costs, this bill takes an important step to do just that and is a win for working families across this country.”

BACKGROUND

Over 22 million Americans utilize HSAs, and over 33 million Americans contribute to an FSA. Since 2011, Americans have been prevented from using tax-preferred accounts to purchase non-prescription over-the-counter medicines. Over-the-counter medication can be used as treatment for pain management, smoking cessation, and allergies. Menstrual care products and over-the-counter medicines are essential for millions of Americans; making these products more affordable for families will improve health and wellness and prevent more expensive complications down the road.

The text of the Restoring Access to Medication Act is available here.

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

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