Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
A reader sent this comment; “My Ideal Medical Savings Account (MSA) “was not democratic and leads to restriction of medical care for the less fortunate.'
This comment is totally incorrect. I suspect the comment came from a person who has “an entitlements are good mentality.”
I believe that incentives are good. They lead to innovation. Innovation leads to better ideas.
Healthcare entitlement leads to ever increasing costs, stagnation, restrictions on freedom of choice and a decrease in access to care.
I have written extensively about the virtues of My Ideal Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs). They are different than Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
MSAs provide added incentives over HSAs to obtain and maintain good health. Obesity is a major factor in the onset of chronic diseases. Consumers must be motivated to avoid obesity to maintain good health. MSAs can provide that incentive.
The MSA’s can replace every form of health insurance at a reduced cost. It limits the risk to the healthcare insurance industry while providing consumers with choice.
This would result in competition among healthcare providers. Competition would bring down the cost of healthcare.
Some people might not like MSA’s because they are liberating. They provide consumers of healthcare with freedom of choice. They also give consumers the opportunity to be responsible for their healthcare dollars while providing them with incentives to take care of their health.
MSAs could be used for private insurance purchasers, group insurance plans, employer self insurance plans, State Funded self-insurance plans and Medicare and Medicaid.
In each case the funding source is different. The cost of the high deductible insurance is low because the risk is low.
If it were a $6,000 deductible MSA, the first $6,000 would be placed in a trust for the consumer. Whatever they did not spend would go into a retirement trust. If they spent over $6,000 they would have first dollar healthcare insurance coverage. Their trust would obviously receive no money that year.
The incentive would be for consumers to take care of their health so they do not get sick and end up in an expensive emergency room.
If a person had a chronic illness such as asthma, Diabetes, or health disease with a tendency to congestive heart failure and ended up in the emergency room they would use up their $6,000.
If they took care of themselves by spending $3,000 of their $6,000 trust their funding source could afford to give their trust a $1500 reward. The benefit to the funding source is it saved money by the consumer not being admitted to the hospital. The patient stayed healthy and was more productive.
President Obama does not want to try this out. He wants consumers and businesses to be dependent of the central government for everything.
MSAs would lead to consumer independence from central government control of our healthcare. MSAs would put all consumers at whatever socioeconomic level in charge of their own destiny.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone
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