But is this the right solution for Republicans to be pushing? This is where it gets interesting. Because the GOP has been pushing things like "small government" and "simplifying taxes" and whatnot, and Ryan's plan is, if anything, more complex that Obamacare. While it will likely reduce the amount of paperwork for routine office visits and whatnot, the insurance companies will have to create and manage these health savings accounts, and it will make people's taxes more complicated, as there will be yet another line in form 1040 for HSA deductions.
And of course, the system has to be policed, so that people don't pay for spa treatments with their HSA money - or just spend it on whatever. With my old HSA accounts, the insurance companies were charged with this task - which is one reason I think the premiums were so high.
It may be a "solution" to Obamacare (except for the poor) but it is not really the free market solution that libertarians and Republicans like to crow about.
What was that "free market solution?" - well it was no intervention in health insurance at all. And the problem with that concept is that if you are self-employed, well, you have to pay your own premiums and they are not cheap. In fact, they basically are your actual health care costs plus administrative fees. If your expenses go up or you get sick, they would cancel you. It was like not having health insurance at all.
If you worked for a big company, they could amortize the cost of sick employees over the vast number of healthy ones - and the system sort of worked, although it wasn't cheap. And since pre-existing conditions were not covered, if the company changed plans, you as the sick employee, were screwed. One firm I worked for refused to change plans, even though the costs were skyrocketing, as one employee had a chronic condition. Few companies are this generous.
I wish Speaker Ryan luck with this. Maybe he should start with something easier - like peace in the Middle East. Because health care and health insurance, is not an easy thing to figure out!