The presidential signature on the health care reform bill doesn’t mean the battle’s over. A consumer group is calling on Congress and President Obama to fix what it calls “dangerous loopholes in the new law.”
The number one loophole, says Carmen Balber of Consumer Watchdog, is the lack of cost controls in the new health insurance law. She says the legislation "will require most Americans to purchase private insurance, but doesn’t do enough to limit what health insurers can charge consumers for that coverage."
Under the new law, the federal Health and Human Services Secretary may step in to examine “unjustified rates.” But Balber says the law doesn’t define when an increase is unjustified.
The law also allows the cabinet-level agency to offer grants that would help states enact stronger rate regulation.
Consumer Watchdog wants Congress to give the secretary more authority to approve health insurance rate hikes if states decline to regulate them.