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ATR believes that America’s healthcare system should be controlled by individuals, not by third party payers like governments or insurance companies. People should be in charge of making informed health decisions with their own money and in consultation with their chosen healthcare experts. Insurance should be reserved for catastrophic health events, much like car insurance is reserved for catastrophic automobile events. The best type of insurance is a high-deductible health insurance plan in conjunction with a health savings account (HSA).
ATR believes that the tax treatment of health insurance should be neutral, no matter whether you get health insurance from an employer or on your own. That’s why we believe in expanded health savings accounts (HSAs) with higher contribution limits and the ability to pay for health insurance premiums with pre-tax dollars. We believe that flexible spending accounts (FSAs, or “flex plans”) should work more like HSAs. We believe that you should be able to purchase health insurance across state lines. We believe that trial lawyers should not be able to drive up the cost of care with lawsuits. In general, healthcare markets can and should work like any other market to provide efficient services and goods to savvy consumers.
ATR opposes Obamacare principally because it created two dozen new or higher taxes. These tax increases include a higher capital gains and dividends tax, various new taxes on health insurance plans, taxes on FSAs and HSAs, a “medicine cabinet” tax, a new tax on medical device manufacturers, a “Cadillac plan” excise tax on health premiums, an individual health insurance mandate, an employer health insurance mandate, and many others.
Tax-free savings accounts allow consumers to be empowered to purchase healthcare services themselves, without governments or insurance companies interfering. They are an essential tool in moving toward a consumer-driven healthcare system that puts patients in charge, not government or corporate bureaucrats. HSAs, in particular, have proven effective at bringing down cost inflation, saving for future healthcare needs, and empowering families. A flexible spending account or “flex-plan” (FSA) is a “use it or lose it” account which ATR believes should work more like HSAs.