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National Restaurant Association - NRA applauds House passage of Health Care Cost Reduction Act

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NRA applauds House passage of Health Care Cost Reduction Act

The National Restaurant Association applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012.

The bipartisan bill, which passed June 7, would lower the cost of health insurance for employers, such as restaurateurs, and return some flexibility to the use of Health Spending Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Reimbursement Accounts by restaurant employees and consumers.

"On behalf of the nation's nearly 1 million restaurants, who employ nearly 13 million Americans, and the millions of guests we serve each day, the National Restaurant Association appreciates the continued efforts of members of Congress to address the affordability of health-care coverage through this legislation," said Scott DeFife, the association's executive vice president of policy and government affairs. "We look forward to continuing to work with Congress in creating an affordable and reasonable health-care system by addressing other health- and tax-related provisions driving up the cost of health-care coverage."

The legislation, if enacted into law, would repeal prohibition on the use of FSA, HSA and HRA funds to purchase over-the-counter medications as well as change the "use-it-or-lose-it" rule for FSAs, allowing employees to cash out up to $500 in unused funds set aside for medical expenses. This would eliminate the unnecessary loss of funds, and the cashed out funds would be considered income and wages for tax purposes.

Restaurateurs have long supported efforts to improve the utilization and flexibility of those consumer directed health products, however, parts of the Affordable Care Act have limited their use, the NRA said.

According to the association, the Senate is not expected to vote on the House bill at this time.

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