Congressswoman Kat Cammack (R-FL-03) and Congressman Greg Steube (R-FL-17) yesterday introduced a fiscally conservative plan to make Health Savings Accounts (HSA) available to five million lower-income Americans.
The Affordable Care and Comprehensive Economic Support through Savings (ACCESS) Act would allow individuals to elect to receive contributions to a health savings account in lieu of reduced cost-sharing under health insurance obtained through a health insurance exchange. The ACCESS Act fixes the restrictions and control the ACA puts on enrollees by allowing individuals to accept a deposit to an HSA.
The HSA option would allow lower-income enrollees to have another way to access their subsidy for an exchange plan. The bill allows enrollees much greater control over how to use the funds to best meet their preferences and needs. An HSA can be used to help Americans pay out-of-network costs and expenses like vision, dental, and hearing care.
“Access to affordable care has diminished over the past decade, as the prices of medical care have skyrocketed and provider networks have shrunk. Middle-class families are getting squeezed,” said Congresswoman Cammack. “But with money in an HSA, you can obtain the personalized services you need, and see the doctors you trust, even if they’re not covered by your health insurance plan. For working families in my district and across the country this option is a lifesaver and will give many the flexibility to afford visits and procedures they may not be able to otherwise. I am proud to introduce the ACCESS Act for many reasons, but mostly because it provides more access, more freedom for families whose health care needs aren’t being met by government-controlled health care programs.”
“The ACCESS Act is an innovative plan to make health care more accessible and affordable for an estimated five million lower-income families who today struggle under the burden of high inflation and soaring medical prices,” said Congressman Steube. “Our idea is simple. Give people another option—a personal health care option—so they can have better access to medical care than what they currently have. Our legislation would provide better access to affordable choices, needed therapies, and trusted doctors, through directly funded tax-free health savings accounts. On top of that, our bill will save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars by making existing health subsidies more efficient. This is the kind of commonsense reform Republicans were sent to Washington to put in place.”
“Funding patients, not systems, is key to fixing what’s broken in health care, and this bill does that,” said Dean Clancy, senior health policy fellow at Americans for Prosperity. “Congressman Steube and Congresswoman Cammack have unveiled a truly innovative health policy solution that, for the first time ever, gives lower-income individuals and families access to the same quality, affordable care that wealthier Americans enjoy. Under this bill, anyone who likes their current health arrangement is free to keep it; But with the option of a pre-funded health savings account, Americans will be empowered to upgrade from substandard government health care to a choice that better meets their needs. The ACCESS Act offers millions of Americans a more personalized option in health care while saving taxpayers nearly $30 billion. We could not be more thrilled to support this measure.”
Read the full text of the legislation here.