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Carson’s remarks regarding what appeared to be his alternative to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) appeared to make the president uncomfortable at times, with Obama looking down and away as Carson began to describe specific suggestions.
ACA is President Obama’s landmark health reform legislation that was passed in 2010. Carson has spoken openly in the past about alternatives to the law.
“We spend a lot of money on health care, twice as much per capita as anyone else in the world, and yet not very efficient. What can we do?” Carson asked rhetorically. “Here’s my solution. When a person is born, give them a birth certificate, an electronic medical record and a health savings account [HSA] to which money can be contributed pre-tax from the time you’re born to the time you die.”
Carson went on to say that HSAs chould be passed on to surviving family members, so “there’s nobody talking about death panels,” in an obvious reference to the controversial “death panels” discussed during negotiations and after passage of ACA.
Regarding those who cannot afford health insurance, Carson suggested, “We can make contributions to their HSA each month,” he said, adding, “we already have this huge pot of money; instead of sending it to some bureaucracy let’s put it in their HSAs. Now they have some control over their own health care.”