May 9, 2010

Obama says Health Care Reform Already Finding Benefits

On Saturday, U.S. President Barack Obama said the benefits of the newly adopted health care reform had already made insurance companies more accountable.

"Aside from providing real, tangible benefits to the American people, the new health care law has also begun to end the worst practices of insurance companies," Obama said in his weekly radio address.

"For too long, we have been held hostage to an insurance industry that jacks up premiums and drops coverage as they please," he said, adding: "But those days are finally coming to an end.

The new health-care law will extend medical coverage to about 32 million Americans who currently do not have it.  The new legislation was passed by Congress and signed by the president into law in March.

The health care legislation also bans insurance company abuses and stipulates that all U.S. citizens have to buy insurance or face fines.  This provision has drawn lawsuits from several state attorney generals that claim it is unconstitutional.

The legislation also bans insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, dropping clients who get sick or from setting lifetime caps.

Republican presented a united front in opposition to the bill, which also drew anti-reform protestors to Washington.

Obama said his administration would be announcing a new rule on Monday that allows young adults without insurance to stay on their parents' plan until the age of 26.

"Even though insurance companies have until September to comply with this rule, we've asked them to do so immediately to avoid coverage gaps for new college graduates and other young adults," the president said.


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