The health insurance industry has decided to end its practice of cancelling claims once a patient gets sick next month, well before the new health care law would have required it, the industry’s chief spokesman said Wednesday.
“While many health plans already abide by the standards outlined in the new law, our community is committed to implementing the new standards in May 2010 to ensure that individuals and families will have greater peace of mind when purchasing coverage on their own,” AHIP president and chief executive Karen Ignagni said in a letter to top House Democrats.
Out on the campaign trail, Republicans are still talking about repealing the new health care law. But, in reality, Congressional Republicans are not rushing to actually do it. Conservative blogger David Weigel notes:
Hours after the House passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) made good on a promise and introduced a short bill that would repeal the whole thing. The goal, she explained, was to get every Republican to co-sponsor it.
About one month later, neither Bachmann’s bill nor companion bills in the House and Senate have won majority support from their peers. Only 52 House Republicans have co-sponsored Bachmann’s repeal bill, H.R. 4903, and only 62 House Republicans have co-sponsored Rep. Steve King’s (Iowa) repeal bill, H.R. 4972. Most of the same people have co-sponsored both. Only 20 Republican senators have co-sponsored Sen. Jim DeMint’s (S.C.) repeal bill, S. 3152. That worries some Republicans who want to run hard on repeal in November.
“What I run into,” King told me recently, “is that you ask Republicans to support 100 percent full repeal, but there are a number of them that aren’t committed to full repeal. They have an equivocation that they would leave a piece there, a piece there, a piece there. If Republicans cannot unanimously come together and support 100 percent repeal of Obamacare and then start to rebuild, then we will not win this victory, because we’ll be divided by the Democrats and fighting on Obama’s turf.”
Perhaps that’s because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act actually improves health care in America. On Monday, former Rep. Sen. Bill Frist, a surgeon, said he likes the law:
Frist, a thoracic surgeon, told Time magazine back in October that if he were still in Congress, he would vote for the bill. And his support apparently hasn’t wavered. On Monday afternoon he said he would give an “A” grade to the provisions in the law aimed at expanding insurance to an additional 32 million people.
Cost, however, is another matter. While most Republicans would likely slap a failing grade on the cost aspect of the law, Frist said he’d rank it a “C.”
“I like the bill,” Frist said during a panel discussion with former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle at the American Hospital Association’s (AHA’s) annual meeting. “I think it’s got lots of positive stuff in it, other than the costs.”