ATR sent the following letter today (PDF version) to Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) in support of H.R. 3819, the "Health Freedom for Seniors Act."

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform, I am pleased to support H.R. 3819, the “Health Freedom for Seniors Act.”

As a general principle, taxpayers should be able to roll tax-advantaged savings account balances between different types of accounts.  Your bill puts this into practice in a way that both makes sense and solves a current policy problem.

Those who reach age 70 and one-half must begin making “required minimum distributions” (RMDs) from IRAs and 401(k) plans.  This is not elective.  The accounts must be drawn down, regardless of whether the taxpayer has other funds with which to support themselves.  RMDs are taxed as ordinary income.

H.R. 3819 would permit these taxpayers a tax-free rollover of their RMD into a health savings account (HSA).  Because HSA dollars have no required distributions, this allows savings to be preserved for things like long-term care insurance, Medicare premiums, and other health needs as one gets further into retirement.  Keeping savings deployed for retirement is an essential component of moving toward a defined contribution model to replace the broken entitlement system we burden under today.

I urge all Congressmen to support this taxpayer-friendly and senior-friendly bill.