Bill To Establish Commission On Universal Health Care Introduced In Md. General Assembly

Frederick County Delegate Kris Fair is one of the sponsors.

Frederick County Delegate Kris Fair  (Photo from Md. General Assembly)

Annapolis, Md (KM). Legislation introduced in the 2023 Maryland General Assembly would set up  a Commission on Universal Health Care.. The panel would explore ways to establish a universal health care program in the state using a single-payer system, similar to what some other nations have.

Frederick County Delegate Kris Fair is one of the co-sponsors. He says it “establishes a commission to study universal health as a whole,” he says. “Both the process by which universal health care is used to pay for your medical appointments, as well the feasibility of the system getting implemented and what that implementation process look like.”

Fair says the single-payer plan would make health care more accessible to everyone. “We fall woefully short in treating our citizens for the most serious and preventive options for medicine when we do not have a system where people can afford basic health care necessities,’ he says.

A single-payer plan would cover all Marylanders, says Fair, especially “the Marylanders who are in the highest risk of not being able to afford or pay for their much needed necessary medical and access to their prescription medication,” he says.

These are the people who go to a hospital emergency room for their health care, which ends up costing everyone in the long run. “So this seeks, like most universal health care/single-payer systems do, to really encourage preventative medicine which will save taxpayers in our state and our country millions upon millions of dollars every year,” Fair says.

The Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March, 2010, by then President Barrack Obama, has been successful in expanding access to health care, according to Fair, but it still has gaps in coverage. . “And even for people with high price  plans, low deductible plans, they look at their health care and they go ‘I still have to make a decision; Am I going to my doctor and see a specialist because I have to pay  exorbitant co-pays, or exorbitant fees,'” he says.

“I found this bill to be an educational bill, a bill designed to bring us more information and understand the issue more holistically to make an informed decision,” says Fair.

The main sponsor of this legislation is Delegate Sheila Ruth, a Baltimore County Democrat.

By Kevin McManus