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Affordable Health Care Act--Brain Injury Action Alert

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has issued the following action alert to all of its members and affiliates for urgent action to prevent the House of Representatives from repealing essential benefits vital to the brain injury survivors under the Affordable Health Care Act.  The proposed amendments would deprive victims of traumatic brain injury the essential services they require.  it is important that all brain injury survivors, family members and friends ACT TODAY to PROTECT ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS AND REHABILITATION SERVICES TO BRAIN INJURY SURVIVORS.

The House Freedom Caucus is pushing for an amendment to the American Health Care Act to eliminate essential health benefits (EHB) requirements in the private market. Eliminating EHB requirements would allow insurers to once more use benefit design to avoid covering services for high cost enrollees. This would have a devastating impact on people living with brain injuries, who would again struggle to find health insurance plans covering needed services. Rehabilitation is an EHB and is essential to individuals with brain injury post injury. Continued rehabilitation may also be necessary throughout their lives.

EHB includes many services that people living with brain injury depend on, such as outpatient care, emergency services, hospitalizations, maternity care, mental health and substance abuse disorder services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services, laboratory services, preventive services, and pediatric services. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, many insurers in the individual market avoided covering these services, with 62% of insurers omitting maternity coverage, 34% omitting coverage for substance use disorder treatments, and 9% omitting prescription drug coverage. If this amendment passes, many insurers would once again exclude services based on pre-existing conditions, preventing many people living with brain injury from getting the care they need for their most pressing health care concerns. Insurers would likely also purposefully choose to offer poor benefits in order to attract healthy enrollees while discriminating against people living with brain injury.

It is vital that individuals with brain injury and their families/caregivers/providers make it clear to their representatives today that it is unacceptable to strip these minimum consumer protections out of the health insurance market. The House intends to vote on the American Health Care Act, potentially with an amendment to repeal EHB, today, March 23, 2017. Advocates can dial 1-866-426-2631 (English) or 1-877-736-7831 (Spanish) to be connected to their representatives. 

This is a sample script that can be used:

Hello my name is _______ and I live in [city, state]. I am a person [living with a brain injury/concerned about individuals with brain injury]. I am calling to demand that you vote against the American Health Care Act. I also urge you to vote against any amendment that would remove critical consumer protections like essential health benefits. The American Health Care Act will hurt people living with pre-existing conditions by making it harder and more expensive to get the care they need. All Americans deserve better. I urge you to support the 5.3 million individuals living with disabilities as a result from a TBI and oppose the American Health Care Act.

Below are a list of moderate House Republicans who are especially important to reach today:




Jeff Denham


David Valadao


Dana Rohrabacher


Mike Bost


Randy Hulgren


Bruce Poliquin


Rodney Frelinghuysen


Elise Stefanik


David Joyce


Steven Stivers


James Renacci


Barbara Comstock


David Reichert


David McKinley


Evan Jenkins


Carlos Curbelo


Mark Amodei


Ryan Costello


Patrick Meehan




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