What we seek to achieve, specifically.
Imagine a future in which health care is better and cheaper for everyone, where there is no intrusive health insurance bureaucracy, public or private, and all Americans are free to choose their own doctors and therapies, and pay for their own health care, with their own money, without arbitrary limits.
That future is possible!
We seek to give every American access to affordable, high-quality health care by giving every American access to a tax-advantaged Health Savings Account owned and controlled by the patient.
The Problem Is Bureaucracy
Today health care costs are out of control, and our health care rights and freedoms are being taken away from us, step by step. Excessive bureaucracy, public and private, is causing prices to soar, innovation to stagnate, and patients to lose their access to needed therapies.
It’s no mystery why people hate insurance companies and government health care bureaucracies: patients are suffering, doctors are in despair, and families are groaning under an ever-growing financial burden.
The Solution Is Freedom
The problem is bureaucracy, the solution is freedom—freedom to save and spend your own money for your own health care. Americans need health care freedom, and they need it now. When people spend their own money, they demand and get value. Prices fall, quality rises.
Bureaucracy has no place in health care. Patients and their doctors should not have to bow to profit-seeking health insurance companies or wade through oceans of government red tape.
The doctor-patient relationship is sacred.
Health care freedom is a human right.
Prescription: Health Savings Accounts for All
In America, the best available tool for liberating patients and their doctors is the health savings account (HSA), a unique, tax-advantaged financial vehicle that puts you, the consumer, in charge of your medical choices, rather than some faceless insurance bureaucracy.
An HSA helps your health care dollars go further—15 to 40 percent further, depending on your tax bracket. Today more than 20 million Americans enjoy the benefits of this powerful savings tool.
But HSAs are not perfect. They need to be upgraded—turbocharged—to unleash their full potential. Under current rules, only about one in ten Americans is allowed to have an HSA, and the amount you can save in an HSA is tightly capped.
It’s time to remove these unnecessary limitations.
When we unleash the power of Health Savings Accounts, marvelous things will happen. More people will be able to pay cash for health care, instead of having to rely exclusively on insurance. Patients will regain control of their health care choices. Prices will come down. Quality of care will go up. And more and more families will be able to obtain the health care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.
Sound too good to be true? It’s actually quite easy to achieve. We can have this future starting today, with a few minor changes to existing tax law.
To make all these good things happen, we need ‘HSAs-for-all,’ a simple but powerful reform that offers an escape route from the dead-end of health insurance bureaucracy, public and private.
HSAs-for-all is our best hope for saving our endangered health care rights and freedoms.
What would HSAs-for-all mean for you? It would mean:
- you can have a tax-free Health Savings Account even if you’re uninsured
- you can save any amount of after-tax contributions in your HSA
- you can grow your HSA tax-free
- you can use your HSA for any legitimate medical expense, and
- you can leave your HSA balance to your heirs and loved ones.
Unlimited eligibility, unlimited savings, unlimited growth, unlimited choices. That’s HSAs-for-all.
Here, then, are our goals:
- Universal Access. Let anyone have a tax-advantaged health savings account who wants one, including the uninsured. Delink HSAs from insurance.
- Unlimited After-Tax Contributions. Let everyone save as much after-tax money in their HSA as they want (including contributions from friends and loved ones), without arbitrary limits.
- Unlimited Tax-Free Buildup. Let savings build up inside HSAs, tax-free, without limit.
- Unlimited Tax-Free Distributions. Let everyone spend their HSA savings, tax-free, for legitimate medical expenses, without limit.
- True Freedom of Choice. Let people use their HSA savings for alternatives to insurance like health care sharing and direct-pay medicine (direct primary care).
In short: free people to control their own health care destiny.
HSAs for All.
Because health care freedom is a human right.
- We accept the fiscal necessity of limiting pre-tax contributions to HSAs.
- We do not seek government contributions to HSAs, whether directly through welfare payments or indirectly through tax credits. Such contributions invariably come with strings that can unduly restrict recipients’ freedom. Instead, we seek a simple, level playing field without arbitrary limits. We also believe individuals should never be forced to accept a contribution from any source.
- A practical note for lawmakers: here are the specific tax-code sections that would need to be amended to achieve our goals:
- Goal 1: amend the HSA eligibility rules, at 26 USC 223(b) and (c).
- Goal 2: amend the HSA contribution limits, at 26 USC 223(b).
- Goal 3: no amendment needed.
- Goal 4: amend the penalty for non-medical withdrawals from an HSA to include persons over 64, at 26 USC 223(f)(4)(C).
- Goal 5: amend the definition of tax-deductible ‘expenses paid for medical care,’ at 26 USC 213(d).
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