Bush Asks Congress To Help Expand HSAs
President Bush on Thursday said that Congress should pass legislation to provide tax breaks to promote the expansion of health savings accounts and reduce health care costs, CQ HealthBeat reports. At the National Small Business Week Conference in Washington, D.C., Bush said that Congress should pass legislation that would make premiums for high-deductible health plans associated with HSAs deductible from income taxes and eliminate taxes on out-of-pocket spending through the accounts -- two proposals included in his fiscal year 2007 budget plan.
Bush said, "Congress needs to end discrimination in the tax code and give Americans who buy HSA policies on their own the same tax breaks that those who get their health insurance from their employers" receive, adding, "Small businesses can save money under this plan."
However, opponents maintain that the HSA proposals will not reduce health care costs. According to a Commonwealth Fund analysis, HSAs will make consumers more responsible for their health care costs but might not make them more effective purchasers of medical services.
Congress likely will not pass the HSA proposals this year, CQ HealthBeat reports (McGrane, CQ HealthBeat, 4/13).