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Friday, May 29, 2009

Some Sanity on Health Care

A great push is under way to get government more involved in health care, with taxpayers picking up ever larger portions of the tab. This path, however, will only lead to higher costs, and eventual rationing of care and price controls.

But in the marketplace, many businesses are capitalizing on positive health care reforms. The May 29 Charlotte Observer, for example, reported on the use of health savings accounts. The Observer pointed out:

The future of health insurance likely lies in personal spending accounts rather than traditional copayment plans, business leaders said Wednesday at a health care summit hosted by the Charlotte Chamber.

Though still making up a small percentage of medical insurance plans, health savings accounts and health reimbursement accounts are gaining in popularity as Charlotte-area businesses of all sizes look to cut costs.

Health savings accounts allow people to save money in an account designated solely for health care expenses. Employers often pay into the accounts as part of a benefits package, but all money in the accounts is owned by the individual…

About 8 million people nationwide are enrolled in health savings account programs, up 31 percent since last year and a seven-fold increase since 2005, according to the America's Health Insurance Plans association.

That’s a positive trend – a little sanity in the otherwise insane debate over health care in this nation.

The Observer also noted:

There is a chance that national health care reform that President Obama has promoted could eliminate these kinds of health coverage. But Austin Pittman, chief growth officer at UnitedHealthcare of the Carolinas, said he doesn't see that happening.

We all have to work to make sure that Mr. Pittman is right.

Raymond J. Keating
Chief Economist
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

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