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Obama warns health insurers against rate hikes

Posted On Tue, June 22, 2010

With swelling rumors that health insurance companies would raise their rates for individuals as a result of the new healthcare overhaul bill, President Obama issued a stern warning to insurers that this would not be tolerated.

Obama met with both state officials and insurance company executives at the White House today to discuss the rate increases many experts said would be inevitable, according to a Reuters report. When the meeting ended, Obama said that he told insurance executives that these hikes would not be tolerated.

"Insurance companies ... shouldn't see it as an opportunity to enact unjustifiable rate increases," he said. He added that companies have to publicly justify any rate increases on both the federal health website and their own sites, according to Reuters. He also noted that the companies themselves do not cause cost increases.

Obama said a number of states - like Maine, Pennsylvania and New York - have already put regulations in place to prevent such increases and said the White House would work with other states to do the same.

A Wall Street Journal report said that Obama also told insurers that the government would hold them accountable for any rate increases that were put in place before the law could take effect.ADNFCR-2297-ID-19852751-ADNFCR

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