WASHINGTON - April 5 - Today, President Bush gives a speech in Connecticut touting Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Yesterday, the Massachusetts legislature adopted legislation designed to expand health coverage to 95 percent of the state’s 550,000 uninsured residents. The following is the statement of Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA, about these events:
“The President’s partisan promotion of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) stands in sharp contrast with THE bipartisan, historic health care legislation that was successfully adopted yesterday by the Massachusetts legislature.
“The Massachusetts legislation will expand health coverage to approximately half a million uninsured people in the state and will make health coverage more affordable. The President’s proposed expansion of HSAs, on the other hand, is designed to promote high-deductible insurance policies that will significantly increase out-of-pocket costs for people needing health care and will make care more unaffordable.
“HSAs create tax shelters that disproportionately help the wealthy. Since wealthy people can afford insurance policies with high deductibles, and since HSAs are most beneficial for people in high tax brackets, the President’s proposal is designed to help those who need it the least.
“Meanwhile, more moderate-income families that need health care will be saddled with higher and higher out-of-pocket costs, and the health care affordability crisis will get worse.
“Unlike the President’s proposal, the Massachusetts legislation will make health coverage more affordable for working families, and it will take unprecedented steps to expand health coverage to virtually everyone in the state.
“We urge the President to learn from the example set by Massachusetts: He should work in a bipartisan manner to make health care more affordable and accessible, and he should end his partisan quest that will add people to the ranks of the uninsured.”