More Benefits of Health Savings Accounts
December 23, 2003
American advocates of Canadian-style national health insurance are alarmed that the Health Savings Accounts (HSA) provisions of the new Medicare law will ruin their dreams of one mandatory, government-run insurance program for everybody.
- Physicians for a National Health Program says that "once millions of HSAs are established, it will be almost impossible to reverse this program."
- Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) has already introduced a bill to "correct" the Medicare legislation by repealing HSAs.
- By pairing an inexpensive insurance policy that has a high deductible -- $1,000 or more for an individual, $2,000 for a family -- with a tax-free savings account individuals would be covered for serious injuries or illness.
- They would also have an incentive to consume basic health services wisely, since any unspent account balance could be rolled over from year to year.
- HSAs will also wake consumers up to state mandates that price many people out of insurance. Individual and small-group purchasers in New York, in fact, may not be able to buy a high deductible policy because of state mandates.
Source: Editorial, "Teddy's Nightmare," Wall Street Journal, December 23, 2003.
For WSJ text (requires subscription)
Browse more articles on Health Issues