Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Coverage Gap For Children in New HealthCare Law

Who could have possible imagined that the multi thousand page bill would not perform just as imagined. And this is not something on the periphery, this once one of the main points supporters hammered repeatedly. The likelihood of such blunders was the reason for my satirical Time to Prank Congress post. The notion that our representatives really know what they are voting on with these ridiculously large bills with no time to read them is fanciful. I have a feeling that this will become more and more obvious in the days ahead as the effects of the new law are felt.

"Hours after President Barack Obama signed historic health care legislation, a potential problem emerged. Administration officials are now scrambling to fix a gap in highly touted benefits for children.

Obama made better coverage for children a centerpiece of his health care remake, but it turns out the letter of the law provided a less-than-complete guarantee that kids with health problems would not be shut out of coverage.

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.

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.

Full protection for children would not come until 2014, said Kate Cyrul, a spokeswoman for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, another panel that authored the legislation. That's the same year when insurance companies could no longer deny coverage to any person on account of health problems.

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