|Posted:||March 21, 2019 09:48 AM|
|From:||Representative Karen Boback and Rep. Margo L. Davidson|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Sales Tax Elimination of Insured and Medicaid Assistance Breast Pumps and Supplies|
|In the near future, we plan to introduce legislation which would exempt breast pumps and supplies which are covered under private insurance and Medicaid plans from Pennsylvania Sales Tax.. Currently, Maryland, New Jersey and Louisiana exempt breast pumps and supplies from states sales tax and proposals are under consideration in the New York and Connecticut Legislature.
In 2010 Federal law designated breast pumps as Durable Medical Equipment (DMEs) to be eligible for coverage by most of the major insurance companies. However, Pennsylvania Statute which exempts certain DMEs has not caught up with that classification, therefore, the pumps are still subject to the Pennsylvania State Sales Tax. This legislation would address that inconsistency with the goal of encouraging more natural feeding by mothers to their infants.
According to the The American Academy of Pediatrics they believe that breast milk contains all the vitamins and nutrients babies need in their first six months of life, as well as disease-fighting substances that can protect them from illnesses. This legislation will encourage breastfeeding while making it easier, safer, and cheaper for mothers to feed their children.
It is our hope this legislation would accompany and enhance Representatives Oblerlander and Youngblood’s legislation to license and regulate human milk donor banks in Pennsylvania. Donor milk banks not only provide lifesaving resources for underweight infants, infants with gastrointestinal and heart problems, but more increasingly, infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) which is caused by a mother’s opioid use. Making breast feeding supplies more affordable to nursing mothers in the commonwealth can help produce healthier infants and encourage more human milk donation.
We hope you will join us in co-sponsoring this legislation.
Introduced as HB1323