Recent premium hikes of as much as 39 percent sought by Anthem Blue Cross in California have given Obama a new argument for his sweeping health care remake, stalled in Congress since Democrats lost their 60th Senate seat in a special election last month in Massachusetts.
The proposal for tighter oversight of insurers, modeled on legislation proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., will be part of a sweeping overhaul plan which the White House plans to post on its Web site at 10 a.m. Monday, ahead of a health care summit with congressional leaders of both parties on Thursday.
The broader plan, likely to be opposed by the GOP, is expected to require most Americans to carry health insurance coverage, with federal subsidies to help many afford the premiums. Hewing close to a stalled Senate bill, it would bar insurance companies from denying coverage to people with medical problems or charging them more. The expected price tag is around $1 trillion over 10 years.