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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after President Bush made remarks on health care in Dublin, Ohio:
“The same Republicans who gave us a prescription drug benefit that is confounding seniors and failing to meet their needs are now trying to serve Americans an equally misguided remedy for the country’s health care crisis in the form of Health Savings Accounts. We should not address the prescription drug benefit debacle by enacting yet another one.
“Today in Ohio, President Bush sold Health Savings Accounts as a vehicle to help control skyrocketing health care costs. The truth, however, is exactly the opposite: HSAs as proposed by the Administration and Congressional Republicans do virtually nothing to address exploding costs and the rising number of uninsured, which has risen from 40 million to 46 million since 2001.
“Health Savings Accounts are not the answer to the underlying problems in America’s health care system. By undermining traditional group insurance and discouraging people from seeking preventative care, HSAs will exacerbate problems that currently exist. All Americans – not just the healthy and the wealthy – deserve relief from the burden of out-of-control costs and complications in the health care system.
“Democrats will continue to put forth proposals that aim at the root causes of the health care crisis and seek to lower the number of uninsured Americans. As we near the impending retirement of a whole generation of Baby Boomers, an efficient, quality, affordable health care system becomes all the more vital to our country. I hope that Republicans will join us in an earnest bipartisan effort to provide for such a system.”