More than a dozen amendments were filed this week by members ofthe Senate Finance Committee to protect flexible spending accounts(FSAs). Although a redrafted version of Chairman Max Baucus'"America's Healthy Future Act of 2009" includes a raised cap of$2,500 on annual tax-free contributions to FSAs - initiallyproposed last week at $2,000 - advocates for the benefit say the"unreasonably low" cap appears to be "discriminating against FSAswhich, unlike other provisions in the bill, is not indexed overtime."

According to Save Flexible Spending Plans, a national grassrootsadvocacy organization, the legislation as introduced by Sen. Baucusimposes a cap on contributions that - unlike other provisions inthe legislation - would not adjust with inflation. The legislationalso proposes limiting the use of the benefit for over-the-countermedications without a doctor's prescription and including FSAstogether with major medical plans in an excise tax on high-costinsurance plans.

"It's disappointing that Sen. Baucus has focused his sights onrestricting the use of flexible spending accounts," said JoeJackson, chairman of Save Flexible Spending Plans and CEO ofWageWorks, a benefits company based in San Mateo, Cali., in astatement released Tuesday.

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