Statist politicians want people to depend on government for health care, which is why the left is reflexively opposed to vehicles, such as health savings accounts, that allow people to control their own health care dollars and make their own health care decisions. In an effort to make HSAs less attractive, the Democrats on the Ways & Means Committee have concocted a new set of regulations. This is typical inside-the-beltway shenanigans.
The sleazy part of the story is that a private company is lobbying for the provision since it would make money enforcing the regulation.
The Wall Street Journal opines on the unseemly alliance of statist ideology and special-interest deal making:
This week, the House passed legislation that included a provision to require every HSA transaction be reviewed and verified as a legitimate medical expense. Democrats say this is to ensure that consumers are using their tax-free withdrawals for a knee replacement, rather than a new iPod. In reality it adds a layer of bureaucracy that could sharply reduce the appeal and cost savings of HSAs. A key player here is Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pete Stark, whose main purpose in politics is to give the U.S. a government-run health-care system. He is a known opponent of HSAs – once comparing them to “weapons of mass destruction” – because they introduce more individual choice into the health-care marketplace. Pushing for the provision was a company called Evolution Benefits, which has patented a system for the substantiation of health-care expenses.
Read the whole thing and be outraged!