Sally Pipes’ work on health savings accounts was recently attacked in an article on the left-wing website Media Matters:
Right-wing media have helped promote piecemeal Republican proposals to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), propagating a series of myths about the efficacy of health savings accounts, the benefits of allowing insurers to sell across state lines, how high-risk pools operate, and what converting Medicaid into so-called “block grants” would mean for beneficiaries. Health care experts have resoundingly rejected these proposals as alternatives to the ACA, as they all would result in higher costs and less coverage for Americans.
Conservative Replacements To Obamacare Don’t Hold Up To Scrutiny
Myth: Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) Are An Effective Tool For Increasing Choice And “Empowering Patients”
Pacific Research Institute’s Sally Pipes: Health Savings Accounts “Empower … Patients To Take Control Of Their Care.”
Conservative author Sally Pipes, the president of the libertarian Pacific Research Institute, wrote an op-ed in Investor’s Business Daily advocating for the expansion of health savings accounts, claiming they “empower … patients to take control of their care.” She claimed that “HSA contributions help lower long-term healthcare spending” and encourage lawmakers to do “everything they can to get them in the hands of more people.” From the February 29 article:
They’re right to bet on HSAs, whose popularity has exploded in recent years. By empowering patients to take control of their care, HSAs have injected some consumerist discipline into the marketplace.
Because consumers have direct control over their HSA dollars, they have a strong incentive to spend their money wisely. Perhaps they’ll pick the low-cost generic over the name-brand drug — or compare what different hospitals charge for an elective procedure.
Twelve years ago, HSAs didn’t exist. Today, 20 million people count on them. They’ve empowered consumers to take charge of their care and saved the healthcare system money. Lawmakers should be doing everything they can to get them in the hands of more people. [Investor’s Business Daily, 2/29/16]