Policy Forum

Health Savings Accounts: Not Entirely Consumer Directed (Yet)

May 24, 2007 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM EDT


Featuring: Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute; Katherine Baicker, Member, Council of Economic Advisers; Jason Furman, Senior Fellow and Director, The Hamilton Project; moderated by William A. Niskanen, Chairman, Cato Institute.

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More than any other type of consumer‐​directed health benefits, health savings accounts (or HSAs) give consumers ownership of the health care dollars that employers typically control. However, not even HSAs allow workers full control of their health care dollars and decisions. For example, HSAs preserve the tax code’s bias toward employer‐​sponsored insurance and require workers to purchase a government‐​designed health plan. The Cato Institute’s Michael F. Cannon proposes to eliminate that bias, and to give workers ownership of all their health care dollars, by expanding HSAs. Please join these prominent health economists for a discussion of proposals to make health care more equitable and efficient.

Handouts from the event: