It’s in response to calls in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Annapolis, Md (KM). Legislation to protect Marylanders if the Affordable Care Act is repealed will be heard this week by a State Senate committee.
The Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Act would set up a commission to monitor changes to federal laws when it comes to health care coverage, and make recommendations to the state.
“We hear all these threats to repeal the Affordable Care Act; weaken Medicare; weaken Medicaid. We don’t know what they’re going to do. Our Congressional Delegation is fighting hard to beat back these efforts, and we hope they succeed,” says Vinnie DeMarco, President of the Maryland Health Care for All Coalition. “But if Congress does something bad, and our legislature goes out of session, we want a group there. They’re going to look at what they do and give the General Assembly advice on what Marylanders can do to protect themselves.”
DeMarco also says the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” has been beneficial to Marylanders who couldn’t afford health insurance. “We hear stories about people who don’t have to make decisions between food or health care, lodging and health care anymore because of the Affordable Care Act,” he says. “We have cut our uninsured rate in half and we all benefit because there are less people going to the hospital for primary care which puts less burden on us by a hidden health care tax to fund the hospitalization of people.”
He says since the Affordable Care Act took effect, DeMarco says 400,000 people in Maryland are now insured.
Repealing the Affordable Care Act would not be a good idea, according to DeMarco. “Millions of people would lose the health care they need and health care prices would skyrocket for all Americans. It would be a disaster,” he says.
DeMarco is calling on all citizens to contact their state delegates and senators and urge them to support this bill. “And we call on Governor Larry Hogan to demand that Congress not undermine health care in Maryland. He wrote a letter to Congress talking about how Maryland benefits from these programs. Now he needs to go the next step and write to Congress and say ‘don’t mess with our health care,’” he said.
The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Act on Wednesday at 1:00 PM.
By Kevin McManus