Focus Point - Saving MSAs

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Medical savings accounts provide low-cost coverage to those who can't afford high health insurance premiums. But the program -- one that was popularized by the NCPA's president John Goodman -- will expire at the end of this year unless Congress extends it.

So far, a third of MSA policies have been purchased by small businesses that couldn't have afforded more expensive plans. Of the nearly 100,000 Americans who've bought them since the program began, more than a third were previously uninsured. Analysts say more people would have bought them if congress hadn't made the pilot program temporary and made the rules so confusing -- or so limiting. Now, only people working for companies with 50 or fewer employees can get one.

Congress should remove all restrictions and take off the artificial limit on the number of MSAs. When the program is simple and understandable, it will take off, and more people can benefit from affordable insurance that gives them maximum control of their health care dollars.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you next time.