|Leading policy-makers and scholars explain how market forces, deregulation, and consumer choice can work to improve health care for all Americans.||
The Health of a Nation
Hubbard, director of the National Economic Council and an economic policy advisor to President Bush, argues here that "to control health care costs, we must give consumers an incentive to spend money wisely."
Health care is expensive because the vast majority of Americans consume it as if it were free. Health insurance policies with low deductibles insulate people from the cost of the medical care they useso much so that they often do not even ask for prices. And people don't recognize the high premium costs of this low-deductible insurance because premiums are paid by employers. Finally, the tax code subsidizes these expensive, employer-purchased insurance policies.
Hubbard's points are certainly well taken. HSAs are a valuable tool for empowering consumers and will help lower costs and improve health care quality. But we shouldn't consider them the only tax-advantaged insurance option for consumers: patients with expensive chronic diseases like diabetes should be able to choose insurance policies where preventive care kicks in after a low-deductible, in return for higher-premiums.
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