Controlling Costs and Empowering Healthcare Consumers

One of the final acts of the 109th Congress that will have a positive impact in the months and years ahead was House and Senate passage of legislation to expand the usefulness of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Included in the tax extenders package (the amended H.R. 6111) was a bill I coauthored with Rep. Eric Cantor (R.-Va.) to make HSAs more accessible and give workers and their employers the opportunity to make the most of this relatively new health savings vehicle.

By putting more power in consumers' hands and providing them with a tool to save money tax-free to cover health care expenses, HSAs can help control medical costs while putting health insurance within reach for many small businesses and self-employed individuals.

To maximize their potential, HSAs must be paired with greater transparency. In other words, patients should have quality and price data at their fingertips when they select health care providers and make health care decisions. Looking ahead to the 110th Congress, this is a goal we should all be able to embrace.