POLITICIZING THE TREASURY....

POLITICIZING THE TREASURY. So there I was, happily tracking down some dry budgetary statistics to bore you all with, when I noticed something odd on the Treasury Department's homepage. On the left sidebar, in the top, "DIRECT LINKS" category, the first entry was "Health Savings Accounts." The next was "Refund Status," followed by "IRS Tax Reforms," both categories I would expect elicit more interest than HSAs. Under "Browse Key Topics," you see such standbys as "Accounting & Budget," "Currency & Coins," "Economy," and, yep, "Health Savings Accounts." Not "Health Care," mind you, but "Health Savings Accounts."

It all seemed a little strange to me. The HSA homepage offers such useful resources as "HSA Basics (tri-fold brochure)" -- because the American taxpayer deserves smaller pocket literature, dammit -- and "Fact Sheet: Dramatic Growth of HSAs." It's almost as if the Treasury Department wants to promote HSAs, and is using their web site to further the mission. That, of course, is ridiculous, so I called their press person, certain he could explain to me why HSA's were topping off a directory that wasn't in alphabetical order, and why they merited their own category (what about HRA's? MSA's? Employer deductions?). Oddly, my messages were not returned. Color me puzzled.

--Ezra Klein

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