Obama to Insurers: Don't You Dare Jack Premiums
Parts of health care reform kick in
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2010 8:50 AM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks on health insurance reform, Thursday, April 1, 2010, at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

(Newser) – With parts of the health care reform law about to go into effect, President Obama has called executives from 13 leading insurers to Washington for a stern lecture about rate gouging. Obama is afraid the insurers will use the law as an excuse to jack up premiums. “Our message to them is to work with this law, not against it,” David Axelrod tells the New York Times, “Or we will work with state authorities … to stop rate gouging.”

Of course, the law doesn’t actually give the White House any authority to affect premiums—that’s still a state power. But Kathleen Sebelius has promised to shine a “bright spotlight” on industry pricing. After Obama meets with insurers, he’ll give a public statement touting the new benefits of the law, which, Axelrod says, are “essentially a patients’ bill of rights, the strongest in history.”
 

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