Key healthcare components take effect Thurs.

LOS ANGELES Six months after /*President Barack Obama*/ signed landmark health care reform into law, Americans will now begin to see the effects starting Thursday.

The changes include:

  • Young adults will be able to stay on their parents insurance plans until they turn 26
  • Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children based on pre-existing conditions
  • Insurers must provide preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging copays
  • Insurance companies can no longer drop people when they get sick -- the only reason to rescind coverage is cases of fraud

"Consumers should be talking with their human resources departments or their insurance plans to make sure that they are aware of when these changes actually occur," said Jennifer Tolbert of Kaiser Family Foundation.

Public support for the overhaul has declined since March. As a result, Democratic lawmakers have largely avoided the subject in their re-election campaigns. Republicans, however, are seizing the opportunity.

The Obama administration maintains that Americans' negative opinion of the law is a result of misinformation.

"I think the more people engage in the conversation the more they'll understand that we're getting serious about fraud and we're going to take the trust fund very seriously and protect those tax dollars," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Republican leaders have pledged to do all they can to chip away at the health care law, but they acknowledge that even if they take back the majority in Congress a full repeal is next to impossible.

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