President Barack Obama thanked Kathleen Sebelius for helping pass the 2010 health-care law and named Sylvia Mathews Burwell his new health secretary, calling her “a proven manager” who knows how “to deliver results.”
A U.S. mandate forcing insurers led by UnitedHealth Group Inc. and WellPoint Inc. to spend 85 percent of revenue from premiums on medical care is the newest front in the battle between the Obama administration and companies over industry profits.
Health insurers in Kansas and Oklahoma can’t take more than 20 percent of the revenue they collect in premiums for overhead and profit, after the U.S. today denied requests from the states for more generous limits.
The U.S. will give states $250 million in grants over five years to strengthen their ability to review premiums, starting with $51 million this year, said Kathleen Sebelius, the federal health secretary, in a statement yesterday. The program, announced by the White House yesterday, expands funding for states to scrutinize “unreasonable” rate increases.
Kansas, North Dakota and other state insurance commissioners snubbed a meeting with President Barack Obama set up to discuss allowing some people to keep medical plans that don’t meet the requirements of the U.S. health law.