Federal Insurance Rate Regulation Dropped From Bill To Meet Reconciliation Rules

Clearly, passing this health-care bill is just the beginning, because it doesn't really contain strong regulatory powers. It was pulled under reconciliation rules, and Obama reportedly will try to introduce it later:

WASHINGTON -- A Democratic plan for new federal power over health insurance rates was dropped Thursday from the final health care bill, squeezed out by the way the Democrats are pushing the bill through Congress.

Rolled out with fanfare just weeks ago, the Democratic plan was a response to double-digit rate increases proposed by health insurance companies in California and elsewhere.

It was first proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., then picked up by President Barack Obama.

It would have given the federal government the power to reject proposed rate increases. It also would have allowed the secretary of health and human services to order insurance companies to give back part of premiums if the government decided that the companies spent too much of their incomes on salaries or advertising.

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