U.S. President Barack Obama signed his country’s new health care law into effect just days ago. “Starting this year,” Obama explained to a rowdy crowd in Northern Virginia last week, “insurance companies will be banned forever from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.” Well, sort of. “If you have a sick kid,” argues Karen L. Pollitz, a researcher at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute, “the individual insurance market will continue to be a scary place.” This week, insurance companies have struck back, arguing that the language of the law does not require them to write insurance for children with pre-existing conditions until 2014. Said Democratic Representative Henry Waxman of California: “The concept that insurance companies would even seek to deny children coverage exemplifies why we fought for this reform.”
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