Focus Point - Medical Savings Accounts

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. After 10 years of managed care, no one likes the system. Patients think it saves them money...but at the expense of services they want and need. Physicians don't like it because they think it keeps them from providing the best care for their patients. And employers don't like it because it doesn't save them money. So what's the answer?

Medical savings accounts... or M-S-As... are attractive now for the same reasons that everyone dislikes managed care. M-S-As reduce costs by restoring the patient/physician relationship...and encourage excellence in health care through insurer competition.

Just as important...M-S-As assure patients continuity of care when they change health insurers...and allows them to build up savings to pay for future health care needs...needs like long-term disability.

The most attractive advantage of M-S-As, however, is that they empower consumers to make informed decisions themselves...rather than relying on bureaucrats to make decisions for us. The bureaucrats have had 10 years and the system isn't working. The time to empower patients is long-past due.

Those are my ideas, and at the N-C-P-A we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time...the right to bear arms.