nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Got A Health Savings Account? You Now Need A Prescription To Use It...Even For Tylenol

Another Poison Pill from HCR.  Congress put in a provision that makes patients get a prescription before they can spend their own money on over-the-counter medicines if they have a Health Savings Account (HSA).

Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)  have been one of the most successful health care cost control measures in several decades. They are increasingly popular with patients because it diverts some of their spending for insurance into an account they can draw on for health needs.  If they shop wisely and save money, there may be money left over in the account at the end of the year.  Patients routinely save hundreds of dollars on scans, colonoscopy, mammograms, and the like by shopping around.  And there's plenty of consumer info out there to judge quality in the choice.

And guess who gets that extra money?  The employee...  What a concept.  You spend your own money as you see fit, to best meet your health needs, and you get to keep what you save. 

I can't think of a better way to preserve patient choice, and reduce cost.

Except ObamaCare says "No, can't take money out of your account for common medicines that don't require a prescription...unless, get a prescription for it."  Insane.  You have to get an appointment, go to the doctor, suffer through her/him looking at you like you're crazy, taking the prescription to the pharmacy, waiting for it, and then--at last--you can use your health money to buy the sudafed, motrin, fungal food powder, etc.  (see the Washington Examiner, Oct 27)

This represents the worst form of government regulation.  Supporters of nonsense like this argue that because your HSA is tax-free, you would otherwise be getting a tax break.  In the context of lung transplants and huge costs for procedures and cancer drugs, the amount of tax revenue lost is chump change.  And employer insurance premiums are a tax deduction anyway.

Your $3 dollar cost for a decongestant, which will cheat the government of about thirty cents, now costs $3 plus the loss of work income, plus the co-pay for a doctor visit, gas for your car, annoyance...

That's what I call reform...Not.

Doc D

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