St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message
 

Politics

Congress expands health accounts

By WASHINGTON POST
Published December 11, 2006


ADVERTISEMENT

WASHINGTON - Republican lawmakers, with little public debate, added a billion-dollar health care benefit to legislation that was rushed through Congress just before it adjourned Saturday morning.

The provision, included in a huge tax-cut measure, expands the amount of money that can be contributed tax-free to so-called Health Savings Accounts. The accounts can be used to pay medical bills and for other health-related coverage.

The legislation allows anyone to shelter thousands of dollars annually in HSAs, regardless of how much that person pays for a health insurance deductible. Current law limits HSA contributions to the amount of a person's deductible. The expansion would cost the government $1-billion in lost taxes over the next decade.

Democrats, who will take control of Congress next month, have generally opposed the expansion. But supporters said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, R-Calif., championed it.

A coalition of corporate organizations also pushed for the legislation. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, the American Bankers Association, the Business Roundtable and several insurance companies belonged to the coalition, according to Paul Dennett, vice president for health policy of the American Benefits Council, a participant in the group.

[Last modified December 11, 2006, 01:50:39]


Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT