This is an unsubstantiated lie.
A Voiceless Nation
1

This is an unsubstantiated lie.

The CBPP is a left-leaning “economics” organization who disparage everything other than single payer. You citing them is like me citing Cato or Heritage. Unless you want to get into a cut and paste war where you cite CBPP on how bad HSA’s are and I cite Heritage on how great they are, I’d find another source.

Healthcare savings accounts (HSA’s) reward people who are capable of saving for their healthcare by enabling them to avoid taxes on the money they spend on their healthcare.

You’re poorly informed. Here’s some facts for you:

  • An HSA does indeed allow you to save pre-tax money for health care by putting it into a tax advantaged account where the balance can also grow tax free and can be used to pay for health care.
  • If you DON’T have an HSA, you’ll use a healthcare FSA (Flexible Savings Account) which ALSO allows you to save pre-tax money for health care. The only difference is that the HSA is an insurance scheme that has a balance which persists over years, while the FSA just allows you to deduct for expected payments early, and must be claimed in full each year.
  • At any rate, the point here is that you’re implying that the HSA gives people a tax advantage that they didn’t have access to before. That’s bunk.
  • HSAs are extremely inexpensive compared to full care plans, because they carry high deductibles (although the ACA has redefined our definition of “high”) and have cost control characteristics. When we switched to an HSA, my family monthly dropped from $600 a month to $169 a month. Through the corporation, of course.
  • HSAs are associated with large insurers, so if you have one, you *immediately* have the benefit of substantially discounted services due to negotiation between the insurer and the provider, plus (in most cases) free or copaid preventative care, plus an annual out of pocket maximum, which prevents medical bankruptcy. So, you get these benefits even if you have no money in your HSA whatsoever. There is nothing not to like about that.
  • What you are blindly bitching about is not the HSA CONCEPT, but how the HSA is FUNDED. TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. Now, lets move on to THAT:
Uninsured Americans tend to have lower incomes and save less.

I hope you don’t consider that statement profound. I completely agree with you that so far, the suggestions as to how HSA’s will be funded leave a lot to be desired when it comes to low income Americans. For them, almost the entire cost of the HSA would have to be subsidized, not 20% or so like the GOP propose.

But, once subsidized, the HSA is one of the few schemes which actually act to control health care costs, because the people realize that they need to budget their money. There is nothing wrong with asking people to be responsible with their health care expenditures, especially in the case of people who are getting all or most of it paid for by somebody else.

And that’s where single payer breaks down, and is also the one of the reasons (certainly not all, but a large part) why Medicare and Medicaid are running huge fiscal imbalances over the next few decades; there is simply no financial incentive for either the patient or the provider to count their pennies.

Not to mention, the average HSA has less than $2,000 in it

Well, of course it doesn’t. :-). Many people just want to keep just enough money in there to pay their bills, not retire on the Riviera. :-) If I was young and healthy, I’d keep about 500 bucks in mine and take my chances; I have a 401K and I don’t need another place to store up dinero. So, I’m not young at all (but I am healthy) and I only keep about $1500 in mine. And that works for me.

But for others, especially that don’t have access to 401Ks or other large-donation tax-advantaged accounts, they could use the HSA to load up for retirement, knowing that they can pull the money out when they hit Medicare.

, which isn’t going to help those facing $100k in hospital bills.

Which, of course, is utter bullshit for you to say, since HSA policies do not have annual out of pocket costs anywhere near 100K. Your weak objections to HSA’s are not improved by adding an objection which is a lie.

Hope that helps.

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