Jindal Turns Focus to Health Care Savings
Metairie, LA, Apr 29 - Congressman Bobby Jindal (LA-01) announced today that he was pushing two bills in the House of Representatives designed to foster individuals' saving for health care costs. He has introduced a bill to provide for savings within an employer sponsored Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to be carried forward from one year to the next, rectifying what is generally seen as a major deficiency in the program. Additionally, he has signed on as a co-sponsor to legislation which will encourage savings within a Health Savings Account (HSA).
"My background is in health care," Jindal said, "which is why it troubles me that, though we have the best health care system in the world, health care costs are still preventing too many people from getting the services they need. These two bills represent a move by the federal government toward helping people to take more control over their health care without some of the red tape and regulation that has plagued the system to date."
Congressman Jindal introduced the bill to improve FSAs along with Congressman Jim McCrery (LA-04). The bill addresses a long standing problem with FSAs that forces participants to spend all the money they have saved or forfeit it at the end of each calendar year. This bill allows participants in the employer sponsored program to roll over up to $500 annually, making the accounts truly flexible.
The bill addressing HSAs also helps address the growing problem of the high cost of health care. The bill will allow for a tax deduction for uninsured individuals who contribute to an HSA and for small businesses that contribute to an employee's HSA. Additionally, the bill would create a subsidy of up to 90 percent of health insurance premiums up to $1000 for low-income individuals. A full third of the refund can then be directed into HSAs, helping give people double coverage.
"In my role as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, I saw firsthand the effect of high health care costs," Jindal continued. "When I ran for Congress I promised to help make health care affordable again. These bills are not the end of the battle, but they are a powerful first step. They allow people to take more control of their health care situation by making it easier to provide for their own needs."