Have Insurers Found New Ways to Avoid the Sick?

By: Ricardo Alonso-Saldivar, Associated Press
By: Ricardo Alonso-Saldivar, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Advocates for patients with serious health problems say that one of the main goals of the new health care law is being undermined.

President Barack Obama's overhaul was supposed to end insurance discrimination against the sick. But the groups say insurers are setting up new barriers.

More than 300 organizations recently wrote Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to complain about practices that they say are "highly discriminatory."

Among the groups are the AIDS Institute, the American Lung Association, Easter Seals, the Epilepsy Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and United Cerebral Palsy.

They cite tactics that shift medication costs to patients and restrict choice of hospitals and doctors.

The insurance industry says that critics are confusing legitimate cost-control with bias.

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