President Bush hopes to tackle healthcare costs this year

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It's a bit like déjà vu. President Bush intends to focus on controlling healthcare costs he said in a preview of key domestic points to be included in his upcoming State of the Union address Jan. 31, Reuters reports.

Bush indicated in a radio broadcast last week that he intends to push Congress to increase the availability of tax-free "Health Savings Accounts," which are designed to assist people in saving money for regular medical costs. In the event of serious illness, the accounts should work with lower cost insurance companies for additional coverage.
    
As much as anything, The White House believes that getting Americans to invest in their own insurance would increase competition in the market, as opposed to the current situation which is largely driven by employer-provided policies.

"This year, I will ask Congress to take steps to make these [Health Savings Accounts] more available, more affordable and more portable," Bush said.
    
Another strategy, the President said during the radio address, is a measure which would enable small businesses to pool their risk and get better rates from insurers which are currently only available to big companies.