Author Archive

Liberating Health Savings Accounts

Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have introduced legislation to eliminate many of the restrictions currently placed on HSAs and FSAs. For instance, the bill would allow HSA accounts to be used to pay health insurance premiums. The bill allows eligible spouses 55 and older to make HSA catch-up contributions to the same HSA account and it allows Medicare beneficiaries to contribute to HSAs after age 65. Also, Medicare beneficiaries in an MSA plan will be able to contribute their own tax-deductible money to their MSAs.

Secret Plan to Pass ObamaCare

Dick Morris reported yesterday on a plan that works like this:

  1. The House would agree to pass the Senate version of ObamaCare and send it to the President’s desk for signature.
  2. The House and Senate would agree to subsequently approve some of the House’s amendments to the package — using the reconciliation process (which does not require 60 votes because it is not subject to filibuster).

This morning, The New York Times described the plan similarly.

Government Tries to “Gag” Insurance Company on Medicare Cuts

As recently reported in the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Max Baucus is furious at Humana for exposing the Medicare Advantage cuts contained in his health reform bill. 

It all started when Humana sent a letter to its customers noting that the Baucus health reform bill could hurt many Medicare beneficiaries, primarily because of Medicare Advantage spending cuts proposed by Senator Baucus.  Sen. Baucus complained to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which promptly suspended Humana and other Medicare-contracted health insurance providers from sending similar mailings to beneficiaries about health care and insurance reform.

Rep. Dave Camp wrote to CMS demanding an explanation and asking whether CMS plans to issue a similar gag order on AARP’s campaign to support the Medicare cuts.  I’m not holding my breath.