Medical Savings accounts have been tried, with success on the international scene. A recent article by Samuel E.D. Shortt in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has led AIMS author David Gratzer to review and re-emphasize the lessons learned elsewhere for the benefit of those engaged in the Canadian health care debate.
Shortt’s piece criticizes the MSA concept and takes issue with the empirical evidence for MSA programs in other countries and their success integrating with publicly funded health care systems. Shortt concluded that:
“A review of the scant literature on the experience in the public systems of Singapore and China, where such plans have been implemented, and on a simulation using United States Medicare data, suggests that the approach alone has not controlled costs and may increase inequalities in publicly funded systems. The conclusion is that current knowledge of MSAs is too limited to recommend their incorporation into the Canadian health care system.”