Caitlin Owens Jan 30, 2017
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Key part of GOP health plans may raise out-of-pocket costs

Matt Rourke / AP

Most Republicans agree on one part of their Obamacare replacement: It will include greater use of health savings accounts. But after years of outcry over rising deductibles and out-of-pocket spending under Obamacare, they could face their own backlash over this policy — because it's built on, well, high deductibles and out-of-pocket spending.

President Trump himself endorsed health savings accounts at the Republican retreat in Philadelphia last week, saying they give people more choice over what insurance plan is right for them. But he's also been vocal about the need to lower deductibles and out of pocket spending, echoing the populist outcry over health care costs.

But health savings accounts are tied to high-deductible plans — and that's deliberate, because the idea is to make consumers take more responsibility for their health care spending. Greater use of the savings accounts "runs counter to Trump's talk about lower deductibles and out of pocket expenses," Ed Lorenzen, a senior adviser at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, tells Axios.