Sen. Johanns Introduces Family Health Care Flexibility Act - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Sen. Johanns Introduces Family Health Care Flexibility Act

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Sen. Mike Johanns joined together with Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen to introduce the Family Health Care Flexibility Act.

The Family Health Care Flexibility Act seeks to repeal restrictions paced on health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts that were put in place by the President's health care law. HSAs and FSAs are special spending accounts that allow individuals to set aside pre-tax dollars for their health care costs.

A $2,500 FSA contribution cap went into effect this year to join with a previously installed provision that prohibits HSA and FSA participants from using their account dollars to purchase over the counter medicines without a prescription.

Johanns said, "These arbitrary and time-consuming changes are unwise and unfair to families trying to make good choices. Requiring prescriptions for aspirin or a doctor's visit for hay-fever is not health care reform, it's government overreach and interference."

"Families with children who have special needs are among those who rely heavily upon these accounts and they shouldn't be punished," added Johanns. "It's time to restore these accounts and restore commonsense."

Paulsen agreed, calling the restrictions an waste of time and money, as well as a burden for doctors and other health care professionals.

Consponsors of this legislation say that the contribution caps are especially harmful to families who have children with special needs as they may have more money coming out of pocket for common uninsured health care costs such as over-the-counter medications or extra contact lenses.

The legislation currently has 11 cosponsors in the Senate and 35 in the House.

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