What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : America's Poor : A vote on passage of Republican legislation (HR 4279) updating "flexible spending arrangements" (FSAs), which enable individuals who have health insurance through an employee to set aside money in an employer-established benefit plan that can be used on a tax-free basis to meet their out-of-pocket health care expenses during the year. (2004 house Roll Call 163)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
A vote on passage of Republican legislation (HR 4279) updating "flexible spending arrangements" (FSAs), which enable individuals who have health insurance through an employee to set aside money in an employer-established benefit plan that can be used on a tax-free basis to meet their out-of-pocket health care expenses during the year.
house Roll Call 163     May 12, 2004
Member's Vote
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Progressive Position
Progressive Result
(win or loss)

Backers of this legislation (HR 4279), touted by conservatives as a measure that would help save people money in health care expenses by updating "flexible spending arrangements" (FSAs), won handily by a 273-152 vote. FSAs enable individuals who have health insurance through an employee to set aside money in an employer-established benefit plan that can be used on a tax-free basis to meet their out-of-pocket health care expenses during the year. However, under current law, any money remaining in the FSA at the end of the year must be returned to the employer. It is this "use it [the money in the FSA] or lose it rule" that would be undone by HR 4279. House conservatives touted this as a "common sense" and long-overdue initiative to help reduce out of pocket health expenses for individuals, but progressives argued that this was simply another tax break, and one that will serve to encourage businesses to cut health insurance programs or raise deductibles for their employees. Moreover, progressives said, a more valid debate for Congress pertaining to healthcare would be over finding a way to provide healthcare coverage to the 44 million uninsured Americans.

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Key: Y=Yea, N=Nay, W=Win, L=Loss