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White House releases 'patient bill of rights'

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By The Staff

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama unveiled a package of consumer benefits Tuesday to build support for his health care overhaul within a divided nation and warned Republicans about trying to repeal his landmark law. "We're not going back," said a defiant president.

Obama also sparred with the insurance industry — but this time he sounded a conciliatory note, praising insurers for meeting some requirements of the law ahead of schedule. The legislation "is not meant to punish insurance companies," he said, but will bring them millions of new customers. Still, Obama left no doubt his administration would aggressively confront what he called unreasonable premium hikes.

"There are genuine cost drivers that are not caused by insurance companies," Obama said. "But what is also true is we've got to make sure that this new law is not being used as an excuse to simply drive up costs."

Marking the first 90 days since the bill was signed, the White House rolled out new regulations that explain how several provisions of the law will be carried out, including a ban on insurers denying coverage to children in poor health.


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