Focus Point - Medical Savings Accounts Rediscovered

Commentary by Pete du Pont

When Medical Savings Accounts first saw the light of day almost ten years ago, they were shoved off stage by the cure du jour, Managed Care. Ten years later, patients believe managed care costs too much and deprives them of medical care they need. Physicians believe it stops them from doing their jobs.

That's why MSAs and other consumer-driven programs have been rediscovered.

MSAs reduce the influence of third-party payers, let patients see the best doctors, and reduce costs by lessening the administrative overhead for everybody. They restore the patient to a position of influence in the health care scheme, whereas managed care reduced them to passive recipients of other people's decision-making. MSAs encourage innovation in health care, while managed care encourages cookbook medicine.

For more information, see a new backgrounder from the NCPA entitled "MSAs Can Be a Windfall For All." It's backgrounder number 157. And you can find it at

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, Philadelphia schools going private.