KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

In Speech Before State Commissioners, Biden To Call For New Insurance Rules

Vice President Joe Biden will announce a new White House report on insurance rates at a meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reports: "Mr. Biden will use the appearance to press for ground rules for all insurance companies 'to restore stability and security to our health-care system.' The rules, which Mr. Obama has called for frequently, would ban insurers from refusing to cover people based on gender, pre-existing conditions or dropping the policies of those who become seriously ill. The rules would also expand coverage for young people and ban insurers from charging 'exorbitant' out-of-pocket deductibles or co-pays, or placing annual or lifetime caps on coverage" (Williamson, 9/22).

ABC News: "According to excerpts of his remarks, Mr. Biden will tell the group, 'This new state by state data is astounding and makes the case for nationwide reform. From Alaska-where premiums increased 145% while wages grew just 35%-to Florida, where premiums increased 121% while wages increased 43%-even, to Michigan, where the 37% gap between premiums and wages is actually the smallest-all around the country, we see these gaps widening.' ...  The Vice President will argue that State Insurance Commissioners can make a world of difference when it comes to individual costs, though at the moment, less than half of the states have full rate review" (de Nies, 9/22).

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