December 31, 2010

USE A LITTLE REVERSE ENGINEERING AND YOU ARRIVE AT A REVELATION:

No Medicine for You (Andrew Cline on 12.31.10, The American Spectator)

Why in the world would the government make you go to the doctor and get a prescription for an over-the-counter medication before you could buy it with a tax-free account created for the very purpose of encouraging people to save health care dollars rather than waste them on needless doctor's office visits?

Some say the change is a revenue-raiser for the government to help offset the cost of the health care law. Every dollar not put into these tax-free accounts is a dollar that gets taxed. But I think the reason was pure class warfare.

Reporting on the change, Kaiser Health News had this interesting analysis in June:

Many Democrats say HSAs are a tax shelter for healthy, affluent people who can afford to sock money away and leave it there to grow. A 2008 Government Accountability Office report found that the average household income of people with HSAs was $139,000, compared with $57,000 for all other taxpayers. Critics also say that requiring people to dig deeper into their own pockets to pay for health care encourages them to cut back on care they need."

The Democrats snuck this provision into the health care bill (and they did sneak it in; after the bill was passed, the New York Times called the provision a "surprise" for consumers) in part to stick it to "the rich."


The Democrats are right, of course, but the point is that pretty much everybody is healthy until they're old enough that using an HSA to build affluence would make their late life medical spending easily affordable.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 31, 2010 8:10 AM
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