Obama’s Checkup: One Month After, a Health Care Progress Report

By Gregory

May 8, 2010 6:01am

ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: “This is what change looks like,” President Obama touts in his weekly address, giving his administration a pat on the back, one month after health care reform was passed into law.

“It has now been a little over a month since I signed health insurance reform into law.  And while it will take some time to fully implement this law, reform is already delivering real benefits to millions of Americans.  Already, we are seeing a health care system that holds insurance companies more accountable and gives consumers more control.”

Mr. Obama says that there have been some “real, tangible benefits” already seen by the American people.

“After our administration demanded that Anthem Blue Cross justify a 39% premium increase on Californians, the company admitted the error and backed off its plan.  And this week, our Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, wrote a letter to all states urging them to investigate other rate hikes and stop insurance companies from gaming the system.  To help states achieve this goal, we’ve set up a new Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, and will provide grants to states with the best oversight programs. “

The president touts that they are holding insurance companies more accountable as well in the last thirty days.

“But when we found out that an insurance company was systematically dropping the coverage of women diagnosed with breast cancer, my administration called on them to end this practice immediately.  Two weeks ago, the entire insurance industry announced that it would comply with the new law early and stop the perverse practice of dropping people’s coverage when they get sick. 

On Monday the administration will announce that they have asked insurance companies to not wait until September to comply with the  rule that allows young adults without insurance to say on their parents’’ plan until they’re 26 years old, to benefit this year’s graduating classes. And nest month, Obama says they’ll be putting in place a new patients’ bill of rights.

“I’ve said before that implementing health insurance reform won’t happen overnight, and it will require some tweaks and changes along the way,” Mr. Obama says, “But already, we are seeing how reform is improving the lives of millions of Americans.”

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