NASW Responds to HHS Essential Health Benefits (EHB) Bulletin with a Call For a Strong National Benefit Package

In December 2011, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued a bulletin on the Essential Health Benefits (EHB), an important component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (see 12/21/11 blog posting).   This week, NASW submitted its comments (see here) on DHHS’ proposed approach.  NASW made a strong appeal for a comprehensive, uniform set of national health benefits, and suggested that weak, state-based EHB packages will harm low-income and vulnerable individuals. NASW also appealed to DHHS for development of a national medical necessity standard and for inclusion of hospice and palliative care services in the final EHB package.  NASW encourages members to submit their own comments by February 10th . (While the published date for comments was January 31st, DHHS considers that a soft deadline.) You are welcome to use the NASW comments as a template for your own letter.  Comments should be sent to:

One comment

  1. NASW’s comments and recommendations are horrifying to me. While I have long known NASW’s Policy Statement advocates for a national single-payer health plan, the specifics in this document SEVERELY restrict my rights as a health care consumer and health insurance purchaser. The idea of centralized oversight of health plans, including medical necessity criteria, devalues the worth of every individual both providing and receiving health care.

    Stay out of my wallet and out of my personal health decisions!

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