A womens healthcare advocate told lawmakers that provisions under health savings accounts and other consumer-driven healthcare plans oftentimes impede womens access to quality care and shouldnt be considered part of broader health reforms.
Judy Waxman, vice president and director of health and reproductive rights at the National Womens Law Center, told members of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee that cost-sharing provisions under high-deductible health plans too often leave low-income women underinsured while forcing them to settle for inferior care. Women are the healthcare deciders in this country, Waxman said, adding that women make approximately 80% of the healthcare decisions in their families and are more likely to require care throughout their lifetime than males.
Meanwhile, a new Government Accountability Office report shows that higher-income individuals are more likely to use an HSA as part of a high-deductible plan than people in lower income brackets. If these plans were widely adopted, they might increase costs to our healthcare system, not to mention increase the uninsured while eroding the level of coverage among those fortunate enough to have insurance today, said committee Chairman Pete Stark (D-Calif.).
But the ranking Republican on the committee called the GAOs reportbased on data from 2005outdated and potentially misleading. But, it is indisputable that because of HSAs, millions of Americans have been able to purchase affordable health insurance coverage for themselves and their families, said Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.). -- by Matthew DoBias