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Mandatory Health Insurance Needs Rate Regulation As Next Step

PR Newswire Association LLC

Decision Upholds Key Protections Requiring Insurance Companies To Sell and Price Insurance Regardless of Health Status

WASHINGTON andSANTA MONICA, Calif, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Today's decision by the United States Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act and its mandate that individuals purchase health insurance makes rate regulation the next essential phase of health reform, said Consumer Watchdog today.

Consumer Watchdog praised the court for requiring health insurance companies to sell to people regardless of pre-existing conditions, eliminating medical underwriting, and barring practices like rescission that made health insurance disappear when patients needed it most. These reforms will expand Americans' access to health insurance and help policyholders get the coverage they are promised, said Consumer Watchdog.

"Upholding the individual mandate makes rate regulation the next essential phase of health reform and we hope the President will join in helping us to keep premiums low now that people are going to be taxed for not having health insurance," said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog. "We must ensure health insurance premiums are affordable if Americans are going to have to buy it. The future of health care reform depends on regulating premiums and making health insurance more transparent and accountable."

Consumer Watchdog's campaign affiliate, Consumer Watchdog Campaign, is sponsoring a ballot initiative to force health insurance companies to justify rate increases and get approval before they take effect. The ballot initiative is awaiting certification for the ballot. More on the ballot measure at: http://www.JustifyRates.org.

A Consumer Watchdog report finds that strong rate regulation is necessary to hold down costs and keep insurance affordable under health reform. The report examined Massachusetts where rate regulation has begun to successfully hold down premiums after the state's individual mandate, which was the model for federal reform, failed to control costs.

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Download the report "Health Reform and Insurance Regulation: Can't Have One Without The Other": http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/cwrateregulation.pdf

Consumer Watchdog is a nonprofit, nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization with offices in Washington, DC and Santa Monica, CA. Find us on the web at: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org

SOURCE Consumer Watchdog

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