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The reasons for high health care costs are many, but one big one is that we don't see the true cost of our care. I can't remember when HMO's began to be the popular choice, but Health Maintenance Organizations intended to encourage wellness and have encouraged other things as well. One of these unintended consequences is that you and I have absolutely no idea what our annual physical, or ER visit, actually cost. Do you believe that costs would rise if you were the provider and no one asked you to bid on a given procedure? Well, of course they would. If I can sell a hundred dollar hammer to the pentagon I sure I could charge plenty to check your prostate health. We need to reclaim control of our own costs. How you ask? Part of the answer is Health Savings accounts where you actually pay for your care. The trick will be for us to get the federal government to make our HSA's fully tax deductible. Businesses get deductions to provide health care for employees. How about us? Yes, you can deduct a portion of your HSA costs. Talk to your employer. Examine options. Rick Sathre, Greenwood Township
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