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  1. Hager, Mary H. PhD


Nutrition counseling and related services need to be included in health plans, both private and public. Already a limited number of private insurers and state Medicaid plans cover these services. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, recently upheld by the Supreme Court, contains many provisions that potentially could expand access to nutrition counseling. One provision directs the federal government to define an Essential Health Benefits package for all citizens. The Federal Government delegated this responsibility to the states, consistent with the philosophy that states best know the unique medical needs of their citizens. Registered dietitians must be engaged with key stakeholders to improve the odds nutrition counseling services will be considered and included in their state's Essential Health Benefits package.