When liberals try to fix the American health care system, they focus on all the wrong things. ObamaCare took the approach of covering the many uninsured, and forced all Americans to purchase health insurance they may not want or need. But the problem in America isn’t lack of health insurance, it’s the skyrocketing costs of health care.
That’s why a patient-centered, consumer-driven approach is the only way to fix the health care system. Many Americans with health insurance plans are over-insured: they (or their employer, or another taxpayer) pay too much for benefits they may never use.
What’s the solution? It’s not making sure more Americans have more insurance. It’s putting health care spending decisions back in the hands of the patients, because no one spends your money as well or as wisely as you.
One way to do this is through health savings accounts, or HSAs. FreedomWorks has written extensively on the benefits of HSAs, but they make so much sense because they allow consumers to make smart choices about their own money, and expand freedom in health choice. When individuals are spending their own money, it causes them to be more fiscally responsible, and will lead to lowering health care costs.
If this is such a direct solution to lowering health care costs, why doesn’t everyone have an HSA? Current law only allows consumers to have an HSA if they have a high deductible & low premium plan, and places further restrictions on transferring money in and out of an HSA.
Despite restrictions on enrollment, however, more and more individuals are creating HSAs. In January 2011, 11.4 million individuals were enrolled in HSA qualifying plans. But one year later, in January 2012, 13.5 million individuals were enrolled.
That’s an increase of 18% in just one year! According to John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog:
The vast majority of this enrollment surge is in the large group category, which suggests that large employers are not waiting around to see what happens with the Affordable Care Act. They are moving ahead to increase consumerism with or without ObamaCare.
HSAs aren’t just a conservative idea, either. The top five states for HSA enrollment are Vermont, Minnesota, Montana, Utah, and Connecticut. Americans across party lines are realizing the benefits of personal control over health care spending.
Health Savings Accounts are not only a way to drive down overall health costs, they’re a responsible and reasonable investment for individuals looking to be fiscally responsible. To reform our broken health care system, we don’t need to spend more money, or raise taxes, or mandate individuals to do anything! We need to restore freedom and choice to the individual consumer, and encourage responsible spending.
No one spends your own money as well as you do. Giving patients control over their money will drive down costs, as individuals start asking, “Wait, do I really need that procedure? Is there a cheaper way to do that?” More and more Americans are opening HSAs because they recognize the great benefits in having control over your own money. Americans don’t want to be wasteful anymore; we want to be money smart & fiscally responsible.