APNewsbreak: States fear loss of health care aid

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By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — State officials say thousands of people with medical problems are in danger of losing coverage as the Obama administration winds down one of the earliest programs in the federal health care overhaul.

At risk is the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, a transition program that has turned into a lifeline for the so-called "uninsurables" — people with serious medical conditions who can't get coverage elsewhere.

The health care law capped spending on the program, and now money is running out.

In a letter this week to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, state officials said they were "blindsided" and "disappointed" by a federal proposal they say would shift the risk for cost overruns to states in the waning days of the program.

There was no immediate response from HHS.

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