Shortly after the health care bill was signed into law last week, it became clear that someone, either the Democrats in Congress or President Obama, had messed up. Obama had been saying publicly that the bill would immediately ban insurance companies from denying children with pre-existing conditions from buying new insurance plans. But what the bill actually did was ban insurers from denying certain services for children with pre-existing conditions who are already insured.
To fix the situation, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she would issuing regulations that would apply Obama's interpretation over the letter of the law, but it was unclear whether insurers would follow regulations that go beyond what had been passed by Congress and signed into law. Today, the health insurers announced that they will voluntarily go beyond the letter of the law and immediately stop denying children with pre-existing conditions from getting new insurance plans.Read Full Article Comments (2)
As Democrats ramped up their push to sell health care reform, one of the benefits they said would come right away was a ban on denying coverage for kids who have pre-existing conditions."This year ... parents who are worried about getting coverage for their children with pre-existing conditions now are assured that insurance companies have to give them coverage — this year," President Obama said on Saturday in a televised meeting with House Democrats.
But, as the AP reports this morning, it doesn't actually work that way.
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Under the new law, insurance companies still would be able to refuse new coverage to children because of a pre-existing medical problem, said Karen Lightfoot, spokeswoman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the main congressional panels that wrote the bill Obama signed into law Tuesday.