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Half in U.S. Have Pre-Existing Conditions

Posted: Saturday, January 29, 2011

As many as 129 million Americans under age 65 have medical problems putting them at risk of being rejected by insurance companies or having to pay more for coverage.

The Department of Health and Human Services released the study last week, the same day the House of Representatives voted to repeal President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul.

The report is part of the Obama administration's effort to convince the public of the advantages of the law, which contains insurance protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

"Americans living with pre-existing conditions are being freed from discrimination in order to get the health coverage they need," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.

The study found that one-fifth to one-half of non-elderly people in the United States have conditions that trigger rejection or higher prices in the individual insurance market, the Post said. They range from cancer to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, asthma and high blood pressure.

"Under the Affordable Care Act, starting in 2014, these Americans cannot be denied coverage, be charged significantly higher premiums, be subjected to an extended waiting period, or have their benefits curtailed by insurance companies," the government report says.

A Republican House aide, speaking on condition of anonymity because the report was not yet public, told the Post: "When a new analysis is released on the eve of a vote in Congress, it's hard to view it as anything but politics and public relations."

The repeal vote fulfilled a campaign promise of Republicans who won control of the House in November elections. But the measure will likely die in the Senate, where Democrats held on to their majority.

The report is available at online.

Source: http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10424&catid=53&Itemid=8, Washington Post

 
 
 
 
 
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