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Health reform: state protections at risk?

by AirTalk

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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom holds the one-page application form that San Franciscans fill out for health care as he speaks at a meeting of Town Hall Los Angeles on July 9, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images

The health care legislation currently in Congress would allow insurers to sell their policies over state lines. This is raising concern for consumer advocates, who fear that it will weaken state insurance mandates and consumer protections, since some states have laws that go beyond federal regulations. In California, insurers are required to pay for HIV/AIDS testing and second surgical opinions, and there is an independent appeals board for denied insurance claims. Would interstate sales lead to weaker coverage for consumers, or allow them to pick policies that fit their needs?


Jerry Flanagan, Health Care Policy Director for Consumer Watchdog, a consumer advocacy group

J.P. Wieske, Director of State Affairs, The Council for Affordable Health Insurance

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