How to contain health care costs

Doctors and patients will not voluntarily contain health care costs unless that is what patients want. Patients will not contain health care costs unless they have a financial incentive to do so. Until people are required to pay some significant amount out of their own pocket each time they incur a cost, there will be no incentive to reduce costs. Obamacare goes in the opposite direction. It requires that there be zero co-payment for many services. it also reduces the amount that people can contribute to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). HSAs allow people to buy high deductible insurance plans and also save money in a tax deductible account to help cover the deductibles. If people don’t use all of the money in the HSA, they get to keep the savings for future years, and after age 65 they can use any remaining balance like an IRA retirement savings account. HSAs should be expanded and encouraged. They are a sure way to give people an incentive to be conservative about their health care spending.

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