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House passes tax measure with HSA burden
WASHINGTON (4/16/08)—The House voted late Tuesday to approve H.R. 5719, the Taxpayer Assistance and Simplification Act, which included a provision that the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has said could threaten credit union participation in Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). The House voted 238 to 179 to include language in the bill that would require HSA providers to take on the role of verifying that each distribution is used for a qualified medical expense. John Hildreth, CUNA senior legislative representative, termed the policing provision “very detrimental to HSAs” explaining that it would drive many credit unions out of the HSA market. He said the bill would ultimately be bad for consumers because it would likely restrict the general availability of HSAs. Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee passed the tax package, including the HSA provision, 24 to 17. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) had offered an amendment to strike the substantiation clause, but lost that effort in a 25 to 15 vote. CUNA launched a significant lobbying effort against the HSA substantiation provisions prior to the committee's vote and won a two-year delay in the implementation of the provision.

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