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Senate Bill Would Let Insurers Limit Annual Medical Costs

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Patient advocates are upset about language in the Senate health care bill that would allow insurers to put yearly limits on medical care costs for people with expensive-to-treat illnesses such as cancer.

The bill would permit annual limits, as long as they're not "unreasonable," the Associated Press reported. But there's no actual definition of what level of limits would be permitted.

Such limits would have been banned under legislation passed by the Senate health committee last summer. However, a weakened version of that provision is in the bill the Senate is now considering.

The change surprised officials at the American Cancer Society Action Network, who said they haven't been able to get a satisfactory explanation, the AP reported.

"We don't know who put it in, or why it was put in," said group policy expert Stephen Finan.

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