What's next for the U.S. healthcare debate
After the legislative fireworks that followed the last attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in late July, the political landscape surrounding healthcare has been largely quiet throughout the summer. While wholesale changes to the American healthcare system may have been put on hold for the time being, there is still continued support for expansion of HSAs on both sides of the aisle.
HSAs remain popular among the GOP and Democrats
According to the Washington Examiner and Larry Levitt, senior VP of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, "Allowing health savings accounts to be used to pay premiums, an idea advocated by conservatives, could provide premium relief to middle-class consumers and help to shore up the market."
According to a new study conducted by Devenir Research, HSA assets grew 23 percent to $42.7 billion over the trailing 12 months ending on June 30, and the number of accounts grew 16 percent to 21 million (http://www.plansponsor.com/HSA-Assets-Have-Grown-23-Percent-Over-the-Past-Year/">PlanSponsor). With such a marked rise in enrollment and interest in HSAs, this appears to be the one area where the two parties could find consensus to expand the utility of these accounts for a wider slate of Americans.
Bipartisan health reform on the horizon?
Despite the gridlocked nature that much of the Senate and House of Representatives processed in recent years, there is renewed hope for a bipartisan solution to correct some of the issues surrounding the Affordable Care Act. Several Democrats and Republicans have spoken out about their plans to work together on a bipartisan measure, and it appears they're staying true to their statements, reports CNN. Senator John McCain (R), who voted against the “Skinny Repeal" bill, has repeatedly said that the Senate should “hold hearings, receive input from both sides of the aisle, heed the recommendations of the nation's governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people."
And they're moving forward in doing just that. Earlier this August, leaders of the Senate Health Committee said they would start in early September with bipartisan committee meetings aimed at stabilizing Obamacare's individual insurance market. Just this week, Senate leaders indicated that they will invite state governors and insurance commissioners for bipartisan meetings set to begin in early September.
Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) have even announced that they have a proposal to stabilize Obamacare that could be unveiled in the next few weeks, according to The Hill. Their goal is to present the plan to the Senate Health Committee for consideration.The President recently agreed to continue healthcare subsidy payments for the time being, but the future is still unclear and Congress will need to move quickly on any bipartisan action. Insurers are still faced with the possibility of increasing premiums significantly in fear of what may happen with promised cost-sharing payments that could be withheld at any time.
If any new developments happen in the coming weeks and months, FSAstore.com will be here to cover it! Check back often for updates pertaining to consumer-directed healthcare so you can understand any major changes as they happen.