President Bush Visits Ohio To Promote New Health Care Idea
President Bush was welcomed by more than a hundred Wendy's employees at its international headquarters in Dublin. The president was there to push his plan to offer tax cuts as a way to encourage the use of Health Savings Accounts. The accounts let people and their employers put aside money tax free for health care expenses. Mr. Bush says the accounts are helping people move away from third party insurance companies that he says drive up the cost for consumers. He says those with traditional insurance plans have no idea what their health care costs are because they just pay a premium and the insurance company picks up the rest. Mr. Bush says there is nothing in this kind of system that will create competition and lower costs.
But critics of the plan say HSAs will not benefit the average American. Executive director of Universal Health Care Access Network of Ohio, Kathy Levine, says the president's plan is absurd.
But Mr. Bush says HSAs will allow consumers to shop around for the best prices that fit their own needs. And he says that will force hospitals, doctors and drug companies to lower their prices.
But Levine says sick people aren't in the market to be shopping around and negotiate prices.
Mr. Bush chose Wendy's as his venue because the fast food chain is seriously considering the plan. We tried to speak with average Wendy's employees in the audience, but a Wendy's official stopped the interview, and told us to talk to Wendy's spokesman.
Wendy's spokesman Denny Lynch says the company did not want its employees interviewed because they were working and he says they were there to welcome the president and not speak for the company.