Up to half at risk of non-coverage

January 26, 2011

A government study estimates that 129 million Americans under age 65 have medical problems that would put them at risk of being rejected by health insurance companies or having to pay more for coverage, Reuters reports.

Washington - A government study estimates that 129 million Americans under age 65 have medical problems that would put them at risk of being rejected by health insurance companies or having to pay more for coverage, Reuters reports.

The Department of Health and Human Services released the study Jan. 17, the same day Republican members urged the House of Representatives to pass a bill repealing President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.

According to a Washington Post story, the report is part of the Obama administration’s effort to win public favor for the new law, which forbids insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions.

The study found that 20 to 50 percent of non-elderly people in the United States have conditions - ranging from cancer to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure and asthma - that trigger rejection or higher prices from insurers.

A repeal vote would fulfill a campaign promise of Republicans who won control of the House in November elections. But the measure will likely die in the Senate, where Democrats retain the majority, Reuters reports.