President Obama took Sen. John Barrasso to school during the Health Care Summit on why health savings accounts won't work for those who are not wealthy enough already to put some savings aside. From TPM -- Obama Takes Dr. Barrasso To Medical School:
"Would you be satisfied if every member of Congress just had catastrophic care--you think we'd be better health care purchasers?" Obama asked Barrasso. "I mean, is that a change you think we should make?"
"I think actually we would," Barrasso responded. "We'd really focus on it. We'd have more, as you say, skin in the game. And especially if they had a savings account--a health savings account--they could put their money into that, and they'd be spending the money out of that."
Obama's retort left Barrasso speechless:
"Would you feel the same way if you were making $40,000. Or if that was your income. Because that's the reality for a lot of folks," Obama said.
As usual, the Republicans' great ideas for health care "reform" is for everyone to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, even if those bootstraps are nonexistent. Families USA has a great list of articles as to why these health savings accounts are a really bad idea for anyone who is not already wealthy.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are being promoted by President Bush and conservatives in Congress as a way to bring down spiraling health care costs. Only if consumers have "skin in the game," they argue, will Americans start to shop around for cheaper health care.
HSAs are tax sheltered savings accounts coupled with high-deductible health insurance policies, and they have serious drawbacks. For many health consumers, HSAs will increase out-of-pocket costs—and complexity.
And here's what they won't do: They won't bring down health care costs and they won't make a dent in the number of Americans without health insurance. This resource center pulls together a range of materials looking at the limitations of Health Savings Accounts.
Check out the articles linked there for much, much more on the topic.