On May 14, 2008, the Health Subcommittee of the Committee on Ways and Means in the House of Representatives held a hearing on health savings accounts (HSAs) and high deductible health plans. In general terms, the discussion at the hearing was consistent with the current political landscape for HSAs. Republicans support them as a way to make consumers more cost conscious and as a way to cut the connection between health insurance and employment, while Democrats oppose them because they do not believe that they will bring down health care costs and believe that they are another “savings gimmick” for the rich. For example, on a party line vote, the House Ways and Means Committee passed legislation adding substantiation requirements to HSAs. Therefore, it was not surprising that the subcommittee hearing, chaired by Democratic Representative Stark, highlighted bad news about HSAs.


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