In Speech Before State Commissioners, Biden To Call For New Insurance Rules

Vice President Joe Biden will announce a new White House report on insurance rates at a meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reports: "Mr. Biden will use the appearance to press for ground rules for all insurance companies 'to restore stability and security to our health-care system.' The rules, which Mr. Obama has called for frequently, would ban insurers from refusing to cover people based on gender, pre-existing conditions or dropping the policies of those who become seriously ill. The rules would also expand coverage for young people and ban insurers from charging 'exorbitant' out-of-pocket deductibles or co-pays, or placing annual or lifetime caps on coverage" (Williamson, 9/22).

ABC News: "According to excerpts of his remarks, Mr. Biden will tell the group, 'This new state by state data is astounding and makes the case for nationwide reform. From Alaska—where premiums increased 145% while wages grew just 35%—to Florida, where premiums increased 121% while wages increased 43%—even, to Michigan, where the 37% gap between premiums and wages is actually the smallest—all around the country, we see these gaps widening.' ...  The Vice President will argue that State Insurance Commissioners can make a world of difference when it comes to individual costs, though at the moment, less than half of the states have full rate review" (de Nies, 9/22).

Related KHN Story: Workers Face Higher Costs For Employer-Sponsored Insurance

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.