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Congress Encouraged to Protect Working Families and Flexible Spending Accounts in New Advertising Campaign

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 Save Flexible Spending Plans in partnership with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) launched a new advertising campaign today encouraging Congress to honor President Obama's pledge not to raise taxes on middle-class Americans by preserving, rather than restricting, the use of flexible spending accounts (FSAs) in health care reform legislation. The ads further promote the advantages FSAs provide to nearly 35 million working Americans by enabling them to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for out-of-pocket health expenses not covered by insurance, such as prescription drug costs, vision and dental expenses and office visit co-payments.

"As Congress moves rapidly closer to having health care reform legislation reach the floors of the Senate and House, there are no guarantees as to the fate of flexible spending accounts," said Joe Jackson, chairman of Save Flexible Spending Plans and CEO of WageWorks, a benefits company based in San Mateo, California. "Despite the success of flexible spending accounts in holding down health care costs for millions of primarily middle-class Americans, poorly-conceived proposals are still pending that would severely restrict access to the benefit in order to help fund some of the costs for health reform. Raising taxes on the middle-class by restricting the use of FSAs is simply a bad idea."

Provisions approved by the Senate Finance Committee now being considered in the House of Representatives include a $2,500 cap on FSA contributions that would not adjust with inflation. Failure to index the cap for inflation will cause the value of a $2,500 FSA contribution to plummet to $1,250 in just nine years. Additionally, the Senate Finance Committee approved provisions that would lump FSAs together with high-cost insurance plans and subject them to an excise tax, which would likely cause many employers to reconsider offering FSAs altogether.

The ads will appear in publications such as the The Hill, Politico and Roll Call. Copies of the ads are available here: Build on What Works and Don't Tax the Middle Class.

About Save Flexible Spending Plans

Save Flexible Spending Plans is a national grassroots advocacy organization protect against the restricted use of flexible spending accounts in health care reform efforts. The campaign is sponsored by the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC), www.ecfc.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to the maintenance and expansion of private employee benefit programs on a tax-advantaged basis. To learn more, take action and read the personal stories of FSA participants, please visit www.savemyflexplan.org.

About UFCW

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries.

SOURCE Save Flexible Spending Plans
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