A study by the Health and Human Services Department found that half of Americans younger than 65 -- 129 million people -- have a pre-existing medical condition such as asthma, high blood pressure or obesity that could lead insurers to deny them coverage or charge them more. Nearly a fifth of non-elderly Americans, 50 million people, have conditions that make them eligible for states' high-risk pools -- special coverage for those denied insurance because of their medical history.
Starting in 2014, the health care overhaul will ban insurers from rejecting people with pre-existing conditions, charging them extra or limiting their benefits. The House on Tuesday is beginning to debate a Republican measure that would repeal the law -- the highest-profile legislative achievement of President Obama's first two years in office.
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