Obama to target rate increases in health plan
US: President Barack Obama will propose giving the US government new
power to block health insurance companies from attempting “excessive”
rate increases when he posts his plan for how to overhaul the healthcare
system, the White House said on Sunday.
Gearing up for a bipartisan meeting it hopes will help seize back
control of the healthcare debate, the White House will unveil its own
plan on Monday for how to overhaul the $2.5 trillion US medical care
Obama will add a measure targeting insurance companies, a White House
official said, something that had not been included in Democratic
healthcare overhaul bills reached after months of debate and compromise
in the House of Representatives and Senate. The White House has been
targeting health insurers with particular vehemence as it makes its case
for the overhaul in recent days, seeing corporate profits as a
relatively easy target for public anger in the face of flagging voter
interest in the healthcare fight.
Obama’s plan will be posted on the White House’s website at 10 a.m.
EST (1500 GMT) Monday to allow ample time for review before Obama and
his fellow Democrats in Congress meet Republicans on Thursday for a
televised conference on the proposed overhaul, one of Obama’s top
domestic policy priorities.
“As bad as things are today, they’ll only get worse if we fail to
act. We’ll see exploding premiums and out-of-pocket costs burn through
more and more family budgets,” Obama said on Saturday.
White House officials have said little on the record about what
exactly will be posted, as they wait for official word from the
president, beyond saying they expect it will combine the best features
of the House and Senate bills.
Washington, Monday, Reuters