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Medical Savings Accounts Legislative History

A plan to test MSAs between 1997 and 2001 through a 750,000 participant
demonstration project was included in the Kassebaum-Kennedy health 
insurance reform bill enacted during the 104th Congress (P.L. 104-191).
Only individuals employed at firms with 50 or fewer employees and those
who are self-employed could enroll in the pilot program. In 1997, 
Congress approved an MSA pilot program within Medicare. That has strength-
ened the desire to bring MSA's into the FEHBP. Implementing legislation,
H.R. 1574, was introduced by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) last year. Early
in the 2nd session, House Government Reform and Oversight Committee
Chairman Dan Burton (R-IN) introduced H.R. 3166, with 58 original cospon-
sors, including House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer (R-TX).
This leadership sponsored bill would make MSA plans available to all
FEHBP enrollees, except Medicare-covered retirees.

In July, 1998, the House leadership attempted to add a section to the
Patient Protection Act that would do the same as H.R. 3166.  However,
opposition to this plan caused the leadership to delete the section from 
the bill before it was brought to the floor.  A similar attempt will be
made when the Senate considers the Patients Bill of Rights S.2330.  This
bill's Section 604 would include MSAs in the FEHBP.

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