MN-02 : Kline Fears Unwarranted; Insurance Reform Working

Mr. Kline justified his NO vote on the Healthcare Reform that Insurance Companies would still loopholes.

We learned there is a gap in the law that allows insurance companies to continue denying care to children with pre-existing conditions – again, despite the president’s claim to the contrary.”

Mr. Kline opted for the “fear and hysteria” option, instead of “rolling up the sleeves and getting resolution”.

Mr. Kline is the Ranking Minority member of the Education and Labor Committee and was in a position to do something about it. Besides sending out press releases of his claims, it is unknown what Mr. Kline did.

Fortunately, Mr. Kline is the Ranking Minority member and the Committee Chairman, George Miller (D-CA) rolled up his sleeves. In a terse letter, Representative Miller writes :
Under the legislation that Congress passed and the President signed yesterday, plans that include coverage of children cannot deny coverage to a child based upon a pre-existing condition. We have been assured by the Department of Health and Human Services that any possible ambiguity in the underlying bill can be addressed by the Secretary with regulation.
We fully expect that this legislation will prevent insurance companies from denying coverage. The concept that insurance companies would even seek to deny children coverage exemplifies why we fought for this reform effort and will continue fighting to ensure all Americans have access to high quality, affordable care

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius followed up with a letter to Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, a national association representing more than 1,200 health insurance companies.

“Health insurance reform is designed to prevent any child from being denied coverage because he or she has a pre-existing condition. Leaders in Congress have reaffirmed this in recent days in the attached statement. To ensure that there is no ambiguity on this point, I am preparing to issue regulations in the weeks ahead ensuring that the term “pre-existing condition exclusion” applies to both a child’s access to a plan and to his or her benefits once he or she is in the plan. These regulations will further confirm that beginning in September, 2010 :
– Children with pre-existing conditions may not be denied access to their parents’ health insurance plan;
– Insurance companies will no longer be allowed to insure a child, but exclude treatments for that child’s pre-existing condition.

I urge you to share this information with your members and to help ensure they cease any attempt to deny coverage to some of the youngest and most vulnerable Americans.”

Secretary Sebelius concludes :

“Now is not the time to search for non-existent loopholes that preserve a broken system. Instead, we should work together to do the hard work of improving the affordability, quality, and accessibility of our health care system. I look forward to working with you to achieve that goal.”

Ms. Ignagni has responding agreeing to “fully comply” with the new regulations. Ignagni noted that “Health plans recognize the significant hardship that a family faces when they are unable to obtain coverage for a child with a pre-existing condition.”

WOW. The insurance companies are responding in a professional manner … doing something good for the country … not just trying to protect their own interests.

It’s that thought that people need to examine Mr. Kline’s performance … Secretary Sebelius said it correctly : “we should work together to do the hard work of improving the affordability, quality, and accessibility of our health care system.”

Mr. Kline the debate is over … it’s time to reach-out to your constituents and tell them how you will help implement this new program.

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