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John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960

Monday, August 18, 2014

Brookings: Blog: Stuart M. Butler: Can We Move Past Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance? How to Empower Individuals to Manage Their Health Care

Health Savings Account
Health Savings Account
Brookings: Blog: Stuart M. Butler: Bye, Bye Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance?

I like the idea of health savings accounts when it comes to health care and health care reform. Just as long as HSA’s aren’t just for wealthy people, or upper middle class people, but we make them accessible to everyone. Because you eliminate premiums and red tape for employers because they don’t have to pay for that employees health insurance with premiums and hiring workers to manage those benefits. The employee puts money away into their HSA every week that is matched by their employer and the employee them self uses those funds to pay for their health care. And doesn’t have to worry about what their employer covers.
I like the idea of what I at least call competitive health insurance plans. Instead of the employer deciding what plan their employees can have and from which company, the employee would decide that. Because some times people have health care needs for either themselves or a relative that they are responsible for that their employer health care plan doesn’t cover. So with a CHIP the employee would decide which health care plan they would get and from which health insurance provider, but their employer still be able to decide how much of that plan that they would pay for. And we could have a tax credit for employees who need it to make up for whatever their employer decides not to cover.
I would like to eliminate the middleman when it comes to health insurance in America. Not move to single payer and nationalize health insurance in this country. But give the power to the employee to decide how to finance their health care. Either through health insurance, or a health savings account. And perhaps just move health insurance to cover catastrophic health care that would be needed when someone is in a car accident to use as an example and needs long-term health care to cover things like rehabilitation. But use their health savings account to cover their basic health care needs like checkups and medicine.
I’m not saying we should outlaw health insurance or employer-sponsored health insurance. But you put more of the responsibility on individuals with health savings accounts that again would be an affordable option for everyone and leave health insurance for simply catastrophic health care and you no longer have to deal with rising cost of premiums and health care costs and employers having to drop health coverage when times are tough. And you give individuals more responsibility and freedom to manage their own lives.