Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The End Of HSAs?

The November 23, 2009 Wall Street Journal warns that the Senate health care bill could destroy Health Savings Accounts for many Americans.

Here are some excerpts:
Liberals claim people who choose these options aren't helping as much to finance a common pool and may encourage adverse selection if too many young or healthy people opt out. While all insurance involves some degree of risk-sharing, Democrats want to impose true social insurance a la Europe by obliterating the flexibility of insurers to design products that are tailored to suit different individual needs.
In other words, the government wants to prevent you from spending your own money for your own health based on your judgment, on the grounds that you are failing to live up to your obligation to pay for everyone else's health care.

The Wall Street Journal also notes:
...David Goldhill, a media executive, recently wrote in the Atlantic Monthly that if a 22-year-old starts at his company today earning $30,000 and health costs grow at 3%, by the time he retires he'll have paid out $1.77 million in premiums, lower wages, out-of-pocket costs and both sides of the Medicare payroll tax.

If all that money were instead available via an HSA, including by borrowing against future contributions, "wouldn't you be able to afford your own care?" Mr. Goldhill asks. "And wouldn't you consume health care differently if you and your family didn't have to spend that money only on care?"

This is precisely the future liberals fear because it would make health care less susceptible to political control. The Reid bill makes it impossible for people to choose better reform alternatives, the ones that can only be discovered through innovation and competition in a dynamic marketplace.
The politicians don't want you to control your own money. Instead, they want to do your spending (and your thinking) for you.

Will we let them?

(Read the full text of "The End of HSAs". Article link via Brian Schwartz.)