Growing pains for a centerpiece of health overhaul - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Growing pains for a centerpiece of health overhaul

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, a centerpiece of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, isn't living up to expectations. Enrollment lags in many parts of the country and people who could benefit may not be able to afford the premiums. Some state officials who run their own "high-risk pools" have pointed out potential problems.

Officials say that California, which has money for about 20,000 people, has received fewer than 450 applications. Texas had enrolled about 200 by early September. And in Wisconsin, they've received fewer than 300 applications so far, with room for about 8,000 people in the program.

As recently as April, government economists had projected that 375,000 people would gain coverage this year. Despite the slow start, federal officials say they expect more people will sign up.

 (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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