NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

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)

http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB107214365174988600,00.html

 

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