Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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Introduction: Surviving Health Costs to Retire: Health (and Retirement) Savings Accounts
New topic 2016-03-08 22:42:53 description

Front Stuff: Surviving Health Costs to Retire: Health (and Retirement) Savings Accounts

...Also by the same author:

The Hospital That Ate Chicago, Saunders Press, 1980

Health Savings Accounts: Planning for Prosperity, Ross & Perry, Inc. 2015


Ross & Perry Book Publishers

3 South Haddon Avenue

Haddonfield, New Jersey 08033



Surmounting Health Costs to Retire: Health Savings (and Retirement) Accounts Copyright: 1-2540412791

ISBN #: 978-1-931839-44-0



For advice and support about the thrust of this much-revised book, I owe new debts to the many people who read the first version and commented. The first book was written as ideas developed in my mind, and rather in a hurry. The present revision was written so later thoughts could be introduced earlier in the argument. It also gave me a chance to distinguish between, what is immediately practical, and grander ideas at the mercy of intervening events. I briefly considered omitting the long-term viewpoint, but include it to suggest alternatives which may or may not be achievable immediately, but would seem like blunders if passed over when there was room for them. Voters want representatives (and authors) who are clear what they hope to achieve, even if events bring them short of it.


Foldback, Front Cover

This book outlines the hidden advantages of Health Savings Accounts, which the author had a hand in creating in 1981, along with John McClaughry of Vermont when John was Senior Policy Advisor in the Reagan White House. HSAs have achieved 30% savings among early subscribers. The most popular advantage appeared later: to convert the left-over tax-exempt savings to an IRA, at the time of beginning Medicare Coverage. Because of the popularity of this retirement savings feature, this book suggests renaming them to Health and Retirement Savings Accounts, to emphasize the dual possibilities.

In a later section, the book looks ahead to still other features which take advantage of compound interest income during an era of lengthening longevity. Substantial savings appear to become possible from reversing the system, from paying interest, into one of receiving and compounding it. Individual private accounts rather than group insurance contain a number of other hidden advantages, as do high deductibles but absent co-pays. The public currently embraces Medicare but needs to foresee the advantages of gradually shifting its funding whenever research reduces Medicare costs in the future. The mathematics appears to be sound, but resistance might appear, from the political and social disruptions entailed.


Foldback, Back Cover

George Ross Fisher III M.D.

George Ross Fisher, MD, the author of this book, graduated from the Lawrenceville School in 1942, from Yale University in 1945, and from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1948. After postgraduate training at Pennsylvania Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University, and the National Institutes of Health, he spent 60 years practicing medicine in Philadelphia. During that time, he spent 25 years as a delegate to the American Medical Association, and as a trustee of a number of medical organizations.

Following retirement, he formed a publishing company, Ross and Perry, Inc, which has published several hundred books, mostly reprints. He is personally the author of eleven books about Philadelphia history, from William Penn to Grace Kelly. He is the author of the following three books about medical economics:

The Hospital That Ate Chicago; Health Savings Accounts: Planning for Prosperity; Surmounting Health Costs to Retire: Health (and Retirement) Savings Accounts,(the current volume.)


Dedication Page

To Robert Morris of Philadelphia, who taught Alexander Hamilton about credit, but personally learned it had its limits.


Originally published: Thursday, March 24, 2016; most-recently modified: Thursday, May 09, 2019