Defining Essential Health Benefits

Defining Essential Health Benefits

The Obama administration says states can decide which benefits to provide under the new health care law. Diane and guests explore what the decision means for consumer choice, quality of health care, and legal challenges to the law.

Under the new health care law, private insurance companies must offer a package of “essential health benefits” to consumers by 2014. Facing strong Republican opposition to the new law, the Obama administration said last month it would give states the power to decide which essential benefits are covered. Consumer advocates worry that states will select plans that don’t cover enough basic services while business groups fear the states will pick the most expensive plans. Diane and guests will explore what the latest decision means for consumer choice and health care quality.


Joseph Antos

Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute

Judy Feder

Urban Institute fellow; professor and former dean, Georgetown Public Policy Institute

Julie Appleby

senior correspondent, Kaiser Health News

Joy Johnson Wilson

Health Policy Director and Senior Federal Affairs Counsel,
National Conference of State Legislatures

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