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Health reform one year later: A monster federal bill

The Hartford Courant, March 23, 2011

One year ago today, President Obama signed into law healthcare reform legislation that brought colossal changes, including additional health benefits for consumers, tax incentives to businesses that provide healthcare for workers and retirees ? and a massive federal bill, the size of which is still in dispute. Health insurers that employ thousands in Connecticut have dedicated money and staff to implementing the new laws and preparing for changes that will come in the next few years. Consumer advocates cheer the additional benefits, such as a ban on denying coverage to children with pre-existing medical conditions and a measure that allows young adults to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26. Many still argue about whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a needed transformation, a bureaucratic boondoggle or a work in progress that meets some reform goals but not others. Specifically, health insurers say reform improves access for consumers, but doesn't control underlying medical costs.

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