Giffords’ Case Leads To Push For Brain-Injury Care To Be ‘Essential Benefit’
A letter from the office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., urges HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to include such care in the health law's essential benefits package, despite budget pressures looming in Congress.
USA Today: Gabrielle Giffords' Office Puts Focus On Brain-Injury Care
In a letter signed by chief of staff Pia Carusone, Giffords' office urged Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to include brain-trauma rehabilitation services as essential benefits in its Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, despite budget cuts looming in Congress (Sternberg, 4/7).
The Hill: Gifford's Office Looks to Expand Brain Injury Coverage
The office of the Arizona congresswoman who was shot in the head is spearheading an effort to require more insurers to cover traumatic brain injury (TBI). Staffers for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) are trying to gain support for making TBI coverage part of the "essential health benefit" package that all insurers must offer by 2014 in order to participate in new state-run health exchanges created by the health care reform law. The staffers and advocates say most Americans lack the same level of care that Giffords has received since she was shot in the head at point-blank range during a January tragedy that killed six people and wounded 11 others (Millman, 4/7).
Houston Chronicle: Most Americans Can't Get Giffords' Therapy
Wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is benefiting from world-class treatment in Houston that most Americans don't have access to, and her office knows it. Her staff on Thursday called on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to change that, asking her to apply the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in a way that would make similar coverage to what Giffords receives more accessible. Sebelius and her staff will be defining an "essential benefits" package that insurers participating in insurance exchanges will be required to provide by 2014. ... Giffords currently benefits from broad coverage through federal workers compensation because she was shot in the head Jan. 8 while meeting with constituents in Tucson, Ariz. The type of care she receives - involving speech, occupational and physical rehab - costs about $8,000 a day, according to the Brain Injury Association of America (Shauk, 4/7).