NC insurer praises health care overhaul bill

Chapel Hill, NC - CHAPEL HILL, NC (AP) - The head of North Carolina's largest health insurance company sees Washington's overhaul of the health insurance landscape as a positive step.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina CEO Brad Wilson said Monday he hopes Congress will go further by acting to hold down rising health care costs. Wilson says those costs are driving insurance premiums higher.

Legislation approved late Sunday bans insurance company from denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Health insurers also would get a big increase in customers since most Americans would be required to buy insurance or face penalties if they refused.

Blue Cross ended 2009 with its growth in policyholders flat and profits down 42 percent from the previous year.

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