EXCLUSIVE: GOP Bill to Expand Tax-Free Health Savings Accounts to All Americans

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Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) has introduced a bill that would make tax-free Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) available to all Americans.

Currently, most Americans cannot use HSAs due to the stringent rules that govern their use: only those who pay an abnormally high insurance deductible can take advantage of the pre-tax program. In practice, this means that 90 percent of Americans are not eligible for HSAs.

Roy’s bill, dubbed the Healthcare Freedom Act, would change the rules to make all Americans eligible for HSA accounts.

To do this, the bill would de-link eligibility for an HSA, renamed a “Health Freedom Account” by the legislation, from health insurance requirements.

Many patients who pay high-deductible policies—which have grown more popular among employers over the past two decades—never meet their annual deductible, meaning any money they paid on the policy was effectively wasted. Because of the increased prevalence of high-deductible health insurance policies, many Americans have had to rely on savings to cover their day-to-day medical expenses.

Additionally, the bill would increase the maximum annual contribution to HSAs from $3,650 to $12,000, or to $24,000 for a joint contribution.

In effect, this would allow American families to pay less in taxes annually and direct more money to HSAs.

The bill would also expand permitted expenses under an HSA, allowing contributors to make tax-free withdrawals to pay for health insurance and associated costs, direct primary care arrangements, prescription and over-the-counter medications, and others.

Roy told The Epoch Times in a statement on the legislation that his bill would be a win for patient choice.

“Patients and their doctors should be driving our health care system—not politicians, and not government or corporate bureaucrats,” Roy said.

He added that collusion between government and health care insurers against HSAs had led to increased medical costs for Americans.

By Joseph Lord

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