NPAF Urges Congress to Preserve the Essential Health Benefits Package
2017-03-23 | March 23, 2017
National Patient Advocate Foundation disagrees with the recent proposal to exclude the essential health benefits (EHBs) package in health reform legislation, and cannot in good faith support any such proposal.
We have long worked for patients for whom meaningful health coverage was not possible. They were low-income, sick or had multiple conditions. Some lived in too rural of an area to access care. Our mission has always been to help each individual adult and child access affordable coverage that would allow them to live without the constant worry of a health crisis leading to financial ruin.
By excluding the essential health benefits package, lawmakers will thrust millions of Americans back into that very life. Without EHBs, comprehensive care would be inaccessible for the sick or low-income, and one major incident could lead to bankruptcy for even the most previously healthy of patients. EHBs ensure that coverage is comprehensive and that preexisting conditions are truly covered. They closely protect the lives of our youngest and most senior citizens, along with those needing mental health services or emergency care. Without EHBs, any health crisis in our country, from infectious disease to substance abuse, would get much, much worse.
Our goal is to ensure that patients interact with a truly patient-centered health system. Instead of moving towards that ideal, stripping away the important patient protections housed within the EHB package would instead be denying our citizens access to the most basic– or essential– care. We urge Congress to reject any such proposal.