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STATEMENT: Doctors Celebrate: New Rules Level the Playing Field – Ends the Harmful Practice of Denying Coverage to People Who Need Health Care


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For Immediate Release
February 22, 2013

Contact:
Alissa Manzoeillo, 202-741-6293
alissa.manzoeillo@drsforamerica.org

Washington, D.C. — Today, new Affordable Care Act rules were issued by the Obama Administration to make buying health insurance fairer for all Americans.  The rules include ending the practice of discriminating against people for having pre-existing conditions, limiting how much more people can be charged for their age, and protecting all Americans by making insurance more fair and dependable.

Dr. Vivek Murthy, president and co-founder of Doctors for America, reacted to the news:

These new rules are a big step forward in keeping Americans healthy and protected. Before the Affordable Care Act, a healthy 30-year-old has been one accident or illness away from becoming a pre-existing condition for life.  A person with diabetes who gets insurance through their work – yet dreams of opening her own business – has been locked into that job because she would be uninsurable on their own.  An employer has been one sick employee away from being unable to renew insurance.  None of this makes sense.  Doctors know that having access to health insurance means people can get the care they need.  That’s why doctors applaud these new rules that end the absurd practice of denying coverage to people who need health care.

Dr. Christopher Lillis, a Doctors for America board member and primary care doctor in Fredericksburg, Virginia, noted:

The new health insurance marketplaces will open for applications starting October 1, 2013 – now only months away.  I applaud these new rules that will make those marketplaces fairer for my patients.  I have witnessed some of the most egregious abuses of the health insurance industry in caring for my patients.  My patients live in fear of being discriminated against due to pre-existing conditions and losing their insurance.  These final rules announced today will protect my patients from being denied coverage and being victims of price gouging.  The will save lives and protect patients.

Today’s new rules:

  • Allow young Americans to buy insurance that is right for their needs – whether they are healthy or have a medical condition
  • Prevent older Americans from being priced out of insurance.  The rules prevent insurance companies from charging older Americans more than 300% what a young person pays
  • Prevents people from being denied coverage based on any pre-existing condition, and guarantees that people can to renew their insurance if they become ill.
  • Brings financial stability to the health insurance marketplace by combining risk pools, making all Americans’ premiums more affordable

To speak with Dr. Murthy, Dr. Lillis, or front line doctors in every state about how these new regulations will affect their communities, please contact Alissa Manzoeillo at alissa.manzoeillo@drsforamerica.org or 202-741-6293.

See also:

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Doctors for America is a national movement of thousands of doctors and medical students in all 50 states who are working together to improve the health of the nation and to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, high-quality health care. For more information, please visit www.drsforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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