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Federal and state regulators and lawmakers are stepping up pressure on the insurance industry for offering plans under ObamaCare that limit access to doctors and hospitals -- a strategy insurers say is necessary to keep coverage prices low in the health law's marketplaces. The Wall Street Journal reports that some state legislatures are weighing bills that could force insurers to add more hospitals and doctors to plans, while federal regulators have proposed a tougher review process for plans to be sold next year through HealthCare.gov.The access problem is a byproduct of the effort to drive down costs of subsidized coverage, prompting insurance companies to offer limited choices of doctors and hospitals. Under a federal proposal announced this week, insurance companies selling plans in the federally-run marketplace would be required to submit to the government a full list of providers in a network before the plans are approved for the exchanges, The Wall Street Journal reported.A spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told the newspaper it is "working to strengthen the network adequacy requirements that took effect for this year." In Washington state, Seattle Children's Hospital has sued over the state insurance department's decision to approve networks that didn't include the facility. The hospital is excluded from five of seven plans on Washington’s state insurance exchange, according to Bloomberg News.
Obamacare laws are limiting choices, not the insurers.