For anyone who doesn’t want to see their FSA slashed, their insulin pumps, CGM systems, and glucose meters taxed, and insurance taxed to pay for the proposed health care reform, I would suggest writing to your House representatives and more importantly at this stage, Senators to alert them of your feelings on this.
Here is the letter I wrote this morning, although I highly suggest you modify and/or write your own!
Dear Senator [x],
I am deeply troubled that the proposed House and Senate health care reform bills alike propose to substantially tax the sick and disabled to pay for the proposed changes.
Both the Senate and House bills propose to tax medical devices, but it is obvious to all that these taxes will be passed straight through to consumers of these devices. It seems absurd that notwithstanding President Obama’s pledge not to raise taxes on those making under $250,000 per year, these bills would raise taxes on the poor and middle class making under $100,000 but who utilize medical devices in treatment of their illness and disabilities.
Even worse, the House bill proposes to reduce Flexible Spending Accounts, which many employers limit at $5,000-$7,000, to a limit of $2,500. Yet again, we must ask, who are the consumers who actually use more than $2,500 in a Flexible Spending Account for medical care? It is the ill and disabled - people who buy wheelchairs, hearing aids, kidney dialysis, insulin pumps, and other medication and treatments not fully covered by insurance! The idea that the weakest and most vulnerable members of the poor and middle class should bear the cost of this reform is repugnant.
Finally, the current Senate bill proposes to tax insurance plans over a specific price, again, notwithstanding whether the individual buyer makes under $250,000 per year as President Obama promised. Many of us selected our jobs on the basis of having better health coverage - taking jobs with lower salaries and making other compromises in order to ensure that our health conditions and those of our families are paid for. To penalize those of us who sacrificed other compensation in order to obtain better coverage both violates the President’s pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class and targets exactly the wrong group - those of us who actually pay for our care! Taxing existing health plans is nothing more than taking away my health care - no one can sensibly claim that you can impose huge new taxes on my health coverage and that this is not reducing my care level, since many of us will not be able to afford yet another new tax and will be forced to change to a less expensive policy with lesser coverage.
In sum, several of the means proposed to pay for this tax are grossly unfair and target the sick and disabled, including poor and middle class sick and disabled persons. Whatever one thinks of health care reform, taxing people’s insurance plans and medical devices and reducing the availability of flexible spending accounts, especially for people making under $250,000, is a grossly unfair allocation of the cost of these reforms to those in society least able to bear the burden. Please consider revising the plans under consideration to more fairly allocate the cost among people other than the ill and disabled.