August 1, 2008

Change for the good...

From The HSA Revolution That’s Already Here, Posted by John Berlau

The new book America’s Health Care Crisis Solved has been praised as providing a detailed, free-market solution for healthcare’s future. This it does, but what’s almost as fascinating about the book is its description of what is going on in the present, with consumer-driven health savings accounts (HSAs). Almost without notice, HSAs have grown dramatically and have solved for millions of Americans the problem of healthcare’s lack of portability.

First, some background. In the 2003 law that was rightly derided for massively expanding Medicare with a new prescription drug benefit was a separate section that let many more working-age people to take advantage of HSAs. This provision allowed any adult under 65 to open a savings account for medical expenses that receives much of the same special tax treatment as employer-based health care.

As a result of this change, you can qualify for an HSA by getting health insurance with at least an $1100 deductible for individuals or a $2100 deductible for families. So long as you don’t have another insurance policy, you can get a tax deduction for contributing up to $2900 for an individual or $5800 for a family to an HSA. Or your employer can contribute some or all of that amount. In either case, the money grows untaxed and can be withdrawn tax-free for health-care expenses....

(It's worth reading the rest.) My belief is that the Medicare prescription drug benefit was going to happen one way or another, but President Bush wisely used it as a bribe to get what was really important, HSA's.

HSA's were blocked for decades by Democrats. I feel about this not only the general contempt I always feel for those who cling to socialism long after history has proved it to be an evil catastrophe, but also personal loathing, since if I'd been able to contribute small amounts to an HSA back when I was young and never got sick, my account would by now have grown tax-free to be a large cushion for the expenses to come in old age.

But no, the @#$%^ collectivists can't endure to have people controlling their own health care. It must be done by big coercive bureaucracies, or not at all. (Charlene and I have an HSA, but it's too late in our lives for it to really grow--the money that goes in soon goes out for this and that. But at least it's pre-tax.)

I think that perhaps anyone who is a registered Democrat should not be allowed to have an HSA. They support the party of evil, so why they should they profit from the good that good men do? Seems fair, hmmm?

Thank you again, President Bush.

Posted by John Weidner at August 1, 2008 5:47 PM
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