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WH Health Care Bill Seeks to Limit Insurance Price Hike

Armen Hareyan's picture

Ahead of Thursday's health care summit with both Democrats and Republicans participating, President Obama outlined a comprehensive plan on Monday that would provide the now more than 31 million uninsured Americans health insurance coverage. The plan would not add more to the federal deficit either.

Obama’s much talked about health care reform overhaul has hit several roadblocks since inception. This includes an undeniable Republican backlash as well as murmurs among citizens that reform would ruin the health care system in quality and the cost would add too much to the already ballooning deficit. Democrats have also added heat to the fire, arguing over minute details of the plan.

Monday’s move signals a change in Obama’s policy. Instead of waiting for Democrats to all follow suit, Obama has decided to go it alone. The new plan for health insurance coverage is an amalgam of what was passed by the Senate on Christmas Eve, however, new changes addresses Republican concerns.

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The plan will cost approximately $1 trillion. It does address a key issue regarding raising health insurance premiums. Several health insurance providers have including Anthem Blue Cross of California and Blue Cross Blue Shield in several other states, raised premiums substantially. The Department of Health and Human Services is already investigating the hikes, which are as much as 39% on individual plans.

Under Obama’s plan, health insurance premium hikes will either be denied, limited, or the consumer will be issued rebates. If the bill passes, it will require most all Americans to have health insurance coverage and health insurance providers could not use the pre-existing condition clause to deny coverage.

Passage of the bill is doubtful despite Thursday’s looming joint summit. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, a Republican from Virginia, perhaps summed it up best, “This bill is a non-starter”. The success of health insurance reform depends on Thursday’s results.

Written by Lani Shadduck