Hmmph. The Washington Post reports that the outgoing Congress snuck in an extra $1 billion to expand Health Savings Accounts in a final piece of legislation, with little review or oversight.
On this blog, and on fact sheets on the Health Access home page, we have detailed why we think HSAs (and the high-deductible plans they encourage) are problematic from a health care perspective. But there’s also just the opportunity cost. For every dollar spent on HSAs to largely benefit upper-income folks with high-deductible plans, that’s less a dollar that is available on proven programs to get patients coverage. Like SCHIP, which efficiently and effectively covers children.
Maybe there’s another way to think about this: If the Congress can so easily find a billion dollars for that, then maybe this health care issue really isn’t so complicated…