From Sunlen Miller:
Marking the 90-day anniversary of signing the health care bill into law, President Obama today touted that Americans across the country are already seeing the effect of the health care bill.
“While it will take a few years to fully implement this law, we can already see it taking effect,” Obama said. He was referencing the many personal stories of Americans who were in the audience in the East Room today who have already seen their health care situation improve over the last three months.
As part of the ongoing effort to implement the law, Mr. Obama also announced new regulations within the law that are being issued today by the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury – to implement a new Patient’s Bill of Rights to help children with pre-existing conditions gain coverage and keep it, protect the choice of Americans’ doctors and end lifetime limits of the care consumers receive.
“This long overdue step has one overriding focus, and that's looking out for the American consumer,” Obama said.
This morning, President Obama had a meeting with the CEOs of some of the nation’s largest insurance companies, as well as state insurance commissioners in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, where he discussed how to better implement reform.
“Insurance companies should see this reform as an opportunity to improve care and increase competition. They shouldn't see it as an opportunity to enact unjustifiable rate increases that don't boost care and inflate their bottom line,” the president warned.
The president said that companies must justify any rate increases, and he specifically mentioned Maine, New York and Pennsylvania as states that have been addressing such jumps in rates.
“The CEOs here today need to know that they're going to be required to publicly justify unreasonable premium increases -- on your websites, as well as the law's new website, healthcare.gov. As we set up the exchanges, we'll be watching closely, and we'll fully support states if they exercise their review authority to keep excessively expensive plans out of their insurance exchanges.”
Briefing mentioning politics still at work in Washington, the president called out Republicans for threatening to repeal the health care bill.
“We're not going back. I refuse to go back, and so do countless Americans who bravely shared their stories with me over two years as I traveled this country, and who wrote letter after letter to me in the White House,” he said.