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STUDY FROM HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES – As many as 129 million Americans under age 65 have medical problems that are red flags for health insurers, according to an analysis that marks the government’s first attempt to quantify the number of people at risk of being rejected by insurance companies or paying more for coverage.
The secretary of health and human services is scheduled to release the study on Tuesday, hours before the House plans to begin considering a Republican bill that would repeal the new law to overhaul the health-care system. The report is part of the Obama administration’s salesmanship to convince the public of the advantages of the law, which contains insurance protections for people with preexisting medical conditions.
Republicans immediately disparaged the analysis as “public relations.” An insurance industry spokesman acknowledged that sick people can have trouble buying insurance on their own but said the analysis overstates the problem.
The study found that one-fifth to one-half of non-elderly people in the United States have ailments that trigger rejection or higher prices in the individual insurance market. They range from cancer to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, asthma and high blood pressure.
“Americans living with pre-existing conditions are being freed from discrimination in order to get the health coverage they need,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says in a statement, to be released Tuesday, in which she argues that repealing the law would leave such people unprotected.Click here for reuse options!