White House to help close health bill loophole

December 12, 2009

WASHINGTONLOS ANGELES RANDOLPH, N.J. — - In a victory for people with cancer and other serious medical problems, the White House agreed Friday to help close a loophole in the Senate health care bill allowing annual dollar limits on their care. "The president has made it clear that health insurance reform legislation should prevent insurance companies from placing annual limits on health expenditures that can force families into financial ruin," said White House spokesman Reid Cherlin. The move was applauded by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, which first called attention to the problem. Tucked in a clause of the Senate bill captioned "No lifetime or annual limits" is a provision that would, in fact, permit such caps. As currently written, the Democratic bill would allow insurance companies to place annual limits on the dollar value of medical care, as long as the limits are not "unreasonable." The legislation does not define what level of limits would be allowable, delegating that task to administration officials. Proponents said such limits are necessary to prevent premiums from going up overall.

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