Opinion: Let seniors save for health care tax-free

By Dean Clancy | Originally printed in The Washington Times

How The Health Savings for Seniors Act would give seniors a way to save for health care in retirement

Health care remains a top issue for voters, and Washington remains polarized over controversial reform ideas like “Trumpcare” and “Medicare for All.” 

But there’s one new idea that should appeal to politicians of all stripes: The Health Savings for Seniors Act (H.R.3796), a House bill authored by Ami Bera, a California Democrat, and Jason Smith, a Missouri Republican, would give America’s seniors a powerful new way to save for health care in retirement. 

Specifically, the bill would make Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) available to everyone enrolled in Medicare. Overnight, an additional 60 million Americans would be able to save for their own out-of-pocket health costs, tax-free. 

And — a nice plus — it wouldn’t bust the budget. Indeed, it would tend to reduce deficits. 

HSAs are popular because they give patients additional resources to pay for health care, resources you own and control. It’s your property. Whether you lose your job or change jobs, your account is there for you, growing tax-free.  

In 2003, there were no HSAs. Today, there are more than 25 million nationwide, with total account balances approaching $60 billion. 

So why can’t seniors have HSAs? Because under current law…

Read this full opinion piece in The Washington Times

Dean Clancy, a former senior White House budget official, is president and founder of HSAs for All. 

Bryan CaplanDean ClancyComment