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Health bill's obstruse language creates potential loophole

Health Care 2010

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#1 Palisades

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 01:41 AM

AP: Gap in health care law's protection for children:

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WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is scrambling to fix a potential problem with a much-touted benefit of its new health care law, a gap in coverage improvements for children in poor health, officials said Tuesday.

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 President Barack Obama signed into law Tuesday.

However, if a child is accepted for coverage, or is already covered, the insurer cannot exclude payment for treating a particular illness, as sometimes happens now. For example, if a child has asthma, the insurance company cannot write a policy that excludes that condition from coverage. The new safeguard will be in place later this year.

In recent speeches, Obama has given the impression that the immediate benefit for kids is much more robust.

Oh, now how did this problem come about?

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An insurance industry group says the language in the law that pertains to consumer protections for kids is difficult to parse.

FWIW, the Obama administration says the bill says exactly what it wants it to say and that the administration is preparing regulations to remove the "ambiguity."


I wonder how many more loopholes lurk in this 2000+ pages of gobbledygook that had who knows how many last-minute changes made to it.

Edited by Palisade, 24 March 2010 - 01:47 AM.

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#2 Dev F

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 09:31 AM

View PostPalisade, on Mar 24 2010, 01:41 AM, said:

FWIW, the Obama administration says the bill says exactly what it wants it to say
So does the Speaker of the House: "Prohibits health insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.  Effective 6 months after enactment."

Can anyone locate the appropriate passage in the bill itself?

#3 BklnScott

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 10:05 AM

Obstruse, hard to parse language in legislation?  Say it ain't so!  (AKA, welcome to my world.)

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