Friday, August 17, 2018

Billy Long: My colleagues and I will continue to address rising health care costs

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

Everyone knows how expensive health care is. It can wipeout one’s life savings in the blink of an eye. Many hard working taxpayers spend thousands of dollars on health care year in and year out. As health care costs continue to rise, this issue will only get worse. Along with my colleagues in the House of Representatives I have been working on and passing legislation that helps alleviate this problem, including increasing access to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).

Twenty million Americans take advantage of these cost-saving accounts designed to help individuals and families with high-deductible health care plans put away pre-taxed dollars to pay for medical expenses, such as copayments, deductibles, coinsurance and other health-related expenses. Under current law, an individual can only contribute up to $3,450 to their HSA annually and a family can contribute up to only $6,900 for their family plan annually. If not used, individuals and families can roll their money over to the following year without it counting towards their yearly contribution.

Unfortunately, under current law, HSAs have numerous restrictions that prevent individuals and families from utilizing them on services such as telehealth services and primary care visits, which if covered, could save significant money over time. Along with these services, medical products and medications, such as diabetic test strips and over-the-counter medications, are not covered.
The House recently passed several bills that would help fix these problems, including H.R. 6311, the Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act, and H.R. 6199, the Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act. H.R. 6311 would increase the amount of money an individual can add to their HSA up to $6,650 and a family up to $13,300. H.R. 6199 would reverse an Obamacare provision that prevents individuals from using their HSAs for over-the-counter medications and personal hygiene products.

Rising health care costs on individuals and families will continue to be an issue my colleagues and I address. We will do whatever is necessary for people not to have to choose between paying for health care or going without care.


Anonymous said...

Problem with this: You have to have excess money to put aside. There are families living paycheck to paycheck who don't have anything left over ... Give us another answer that applies to real working families, please.

Anonymous said...

You will continue to address rising health care costs? All you have done so far is try to get rid of the ACA. You have no plan to replace it but since it is time for another election you will try to pander to the people with more empty lies and promises to help the little man. Your brainless leader said we would have the best healthcare but of course then he made the brilliant discovery that healthcare was hard. Who knew? We all did moron. Fix what we have. That is if your rich owners will allow you to help the lower and middle classes. They should be in a good mood since the tax breaks are making them even more money.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there is some way Billy can use all the left over nail boxes at Mid Continent Nail to send people their healthcare? It could save money and maybe be the kind of idea his fellow republicans will vote for.