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Americans Still Split Over New Health Reform Law
Date:4/30/2010

report issued last week, Chief Medicare Actuary Richard S. Foster said overall national health expenditures under the health-reform package would increase by an estimated $311 billion, or 0.9 percent, compared with the amounts that would otherwise be spent from 2010 to 2019.

Meanwhile, some health insurers have proposed steep premium rate increases in anticipation of health reform.

Anthem Blue Cross of California, a unit of Indianapolis-based Wellpoint Inc., the nation's largest insurer, in February proposed raising insurance rates as much as 39 percent on some policyholders in California. The company twice delayed the rate hikes in the wake of negative publicity and, on Thursday, the California Department of Insurance announced that Anthem had withdrawn the rate-hike request. Prompted by Anthem's proposed rate increases, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) proposed legislation that would grant authority to the federal government to review "potentially unreasonable" rate increases and has vowed to press ahead with the measure.

So how would opponents change the new health-reform package?

A 41-year-old Independent male poll participant would like to see "an actual way to pay for this bill without mortgaging our great grandchildren." A Republican male, age 77, said it should have included malpractice limits. Creating a national insurance exchange would be more efficient than the state-based exchanges in the law, said an Independent female, age 30.

Neither the President nor the Democrats in Congress get much political credit for their legislative victory, with 48 percent of those polled saying Obama did a bad job (versus 40 percent who support his efforts). The public is even more critical of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (58 percent negative versus 23 percent positive) and Congressional Democrats (59 percent versus 25 percent).

But Republicans in Congress fared even worse, with a 68 percent to 18 percent major
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