Sebelius: Many unclear on health reform

Jan. 20, 2012 at 6:45 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. secretary of health and human services says the predictions of doom after healthcare reform was passed were unfounded.

"Instead of the economy crashing, we've had steady job growth, with healthcare leading the way. Instead of Medicare crumbling, seniors have seen their premiums fall even as they enjoy key new benefits," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a speech in Washington.

"Instead of providers rebelling, we've seen an unprecedented wave of interest in the new tools the law gives doctors and nurses to improve care."

However, Sebelius said there are still far too many Americans who don't know the basic facts about the law and the benefits available.

"There are too many seniors who are still putting off that colon cancer screening because they don't know they no longer have to pay a co-pay," Sibelius said.

"There are too many parents who are still worrying because they don't realize that insurance companies can no longer turn away their children with pre-existing conditions. There are too many small-business owners who aren't aware that they'll soon be able to band together to negotiate the same low rates as large employers."

Nonetheless, the House passed a proposal that would cut Medicaid spending in half over the next decade, cutting funds for seniors in nursing homes and the poorest moms and kids, who make up the majority of those on Medicaid, Sebelius added.

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