Health Savings Accounts Under Attack
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are an oasis in the desert of government-run health care. That is why President Obama’s health care bureaucrats are intent on killing HSAs.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal piece by 2021, health care spending will be almost one fifth of the whole U.S. economy. In nine years, the government share will be about half.
By 2021, health-care spending is likely to be nearly a fifth of the U.S. economy, at 19.6% of gross domestic product, up from 17.9%, or roughly a sixth, in 2010. The government share of the spending also would be greater, at nearly 50%, up from 46%, mostly because of the anticipated growth in Medicare enrollment.
The government is projected to spend more on health care than the private sector. That is a degree of socialism that is accelerating under ObamaCare and will cause the health care providers to be less responsive to consumers.
HSAs are a force for good in health care markets and have been a positive element of the market since their creation in 2003. An HSA is an account that individuals can set up to earn tax free health care funds on an annual basis. They have been increasing in use since the day they were created.
The idea behind these private accounts is to empower the consumer to make decisions on how to spend tax exempt dollars. Clearly, the last bastion of free market forces with the existence of HSAs is a threat to government run health care. As a result, government bureaucrats are targeting HSAs for death.
HSAs provide quality medical coverage at the direction of the policyholder — not the government or insurance company bureaucrats. That is why liberals hate them.
HSAs provide power to the consumer to make health care choices. People who have them, love them, because it empowers the consumer to make their own choices.
It should not come as a surprise that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is promulgating regulations that could rip 5 million policies out of the hands of small business plans and individuals. Known as “Medical Loss Ratio,” these new regulations will make it nearly impossible for individuals or small businesses to use HSAs in the ObamaCare health exchanges.
Many states will resist setting up ObamaCare exchanges for fear that the federal government will use these exchanges to control state based health care policy. The battle over full repeal of ObamaCare will be fought into the fall elections, yet the bureaucrats in the Obama Administration will be working overtime to implement a law they hope will not be repealed by the voters this fall.
This crushing of free market HSAs is consistent with the liberal idea of creeping socialism. They will not exterminate the free market in one day, or even one year, but over a long drawn out period of time. The slow creep to socialism is difficult to stop, because it is incremental and done in small steps and by quiet bureaucrats who you will never hear about.
We all known that ObamaCare was built on a foundation of deceit but one promise made by the president was perfectly clear — he said that if you liked your plan and wanted to keep it — you could. Add this to the long list of broken Obama promises. Apparently Obama’s promise to allow you to keep your plan will not extend to HSAs should this new “Medical Loss Ratio” rule be implemented by Obama’s HHS Department.
Now that the Supreme Court has tossed another roadblock in the way of full repeal of ObamaCare, conservatives need to dig in and defend HSAs as one of the few remaining free market ideas left that provides consumers with the power over health care decisions.
Many conservatives understand that ObamaCare was drafted in such a way as to deftly move people out of the private health market and into a government-run system. Individuals and small business HSAs policyholders appear to be the first guinea pig in this experiment.
Congress needs to make sure to play defense on the free market and make sure that HSAs are not the next casualty of government centered health care.