President Bush is touting his healthcare proposal that would use tax credits
for encouraging greater participation in health savings accounts, the Washington
Bush outlined his plan for reducing the costs of healthcare insurance at the
National Institutes of Health in Maryland. He said market forces will drive down the costs
of health costs, the newspaper reports.
"Health savings accounts all aim at empowering people to make decisions
for themselves, owning their own healthcare plan, and at the same time bringing
some demand control into the cost of heath care," Bush said. "Our
view is that if you're a consumer of health care and you're in the marketplace
making health care decisions, it is more likely that there [would] be more cost
control in health care than a system in which the consumer of health care has
his or her healthcare bills paid by a third-party provider."
Health savings accounts provide tax-favored treatment for individuals who have
a high-deductible health insurance plan. Unused amounts can be rolled over for
use in subsequent years.
The newspaper notes that critics contend that health savings accounts, because
they must be combined with high-deductible plans, will shift the burden of higher
healthcare costs to individuals who are least able to afford them.