Members of the House Ways and Means Committee have approved H.R. 1270, a bill that could eliminate one of the consumer annoyances related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).
The Restoring Access to Medication Act of 2015 bill would eliminate a PPACA provision that keeps holders of health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending arrangements (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and Archer medical savings accounts (MSAs) from using account assets to pay for over-the-counter drugs without having a prescription from a health care provider.
The committee approved an amended version of the bill by a voice vote. The amendment postpones the effective date of the change to expenses incurred after Dec. 31, 2015. The original version would have applied the change to expenses incurred after Dec. 31, 2014.
Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., introduced the bill along with Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis. House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., proposed the amended version that got through the committee.
PPACA drafters added restrictions on use of health account funds to pay for OTC drugs when they were trying to come up sources of tax revenue to offset PPACA-related costs.