Democrats Ask Obama Not To Dilute Contraceptive Benefits
The Washington Post: Democrats Lobby Against Any Broader Exceptions To Contraceptive Coverage
Democratic lawmakers, fearful that President Obama is on the verge of significantly diluting a proposed regulation that would give millions of women access to birth control without out-of-pocket insurance charges, are furiously lobbying the White House to hold the line (Aizenman, 11/22).
CQ HealthBeat: Democrats Try To Ward Off Changes To Exemptions For Birth Control Coverage
A group of House Democrats asked President Obama to oppose expanding an exemption that allows religious groups to opt out of providing free contraceptive services through their employee health plans. Republicans and several religious organizations are pushing the administration to expand the conscience clause regarding free preventative health services, which were provided for in last year’s health care law. They want to broaden the exemption before it takes effect for private insurance plans beginning on or after Aug. 1, 2012 (Ethridge, 11/21).
In other news, officials held a hearing in Colorado about what should be included in the esstential benefits guaranteed by the law.
Health Policy Solutions (a Colorado news service): Battle Over 'Essential' Care
On the one hand, a hearing room at the Colorado Capitol was filled with people who want more health coverage ranging from vision care and orthotics to intensive therapy for autistic children who now represent one in every 110 children. Also attending were physicians urging better funding for primary care, advocates for integrated behavioral health care and supporters of underserved patients like Latinas, who have the lowest insurance rates nationally. ... On the other side, Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell and an insurance broker urged HHS officials to give states flexibility and warned of exorbitant costs if guidelines require insurance companies to cover too much (Kerwin McCrimmon, 11/22).