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Obama's Tarnished Health Care Law At A Crossroads

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The good, bad and unpredictable converge Jan. 1 for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The law's major benefits take effect, along with an unpopular insurance mandate and a real risk of more nerve-wracking coverage disruptions.

Starting with the New Year, insurers can no longer turn you away if you have a medical problem. Many people will be able to get taxpayer subsidized coverage.

But there's also a mandate that virtually all Americans carry health insurance.

The biggest news could come from more coverage disruptions. Insurers say they are still getting bad data from the government.

That means some patients who signed up could go for a medication refill, or turn up in the emergency room, only to be told there is no record of their coverage.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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