ROCKVILLE, Md. (August 25, 2010) – This morning in Rockville, Lt. Governor Brown addressed health insurance agents and business professionals at an ‘Understanding Health Care Reform’ forum hosted by Group Benefit Services, Inc. (GBS). Lt. Governor Brown, who co-chairs the Health Care Reform Coordinating Council and chairs the Health Quality and Cost Council, spoke to the attendees about Maryland’s efforts to implement federal health reform.
“The first step to successfully implementing federal health care reform in Maryland is to educate our residents, businesses, health care providers and health industry professionals. Forums and programs like these allow us to empower Marylanders with the information they need to take advantage of the great opportunities that accompany health reform,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Governor O’Malley and I will continue to work with our partners to ensure that Maryland is prepared for both the challenges and the benefits of health reform so we remain a national leader in health care.”
Last month, Lt. Governor Brown and Maryland Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary John M. Colmers presented Governor Martin O’Malley with the Health Care Reform Coordinating Council’s interim report, which projects federal health care reform will save Maryland taxpayers $829 million over the next decade and cut the number of uninsured Marylanders in half by 2017.
“At GBS we are proud to sponsor and even more proud to have distinguished guests like Lt. Governor Brown provide input to our educational meetings as we bring extensive health care reform outreach efforts to Maryland citizens and professionals,” said William F. Simmons, President of GBS. “We extend an appreciative welcome to Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, as we await his direction and that of his Health Care Reform Coordinating Council toward reforming Maryland’s health care system in the light of federal reforms. GBS is anxious to continue our role be an instrumental and positive part of the process.”
With its corporate offices in Hunt Valley, GBS has grown since its founding in 1980 to become one of the largest Employee Benefit Plan Administrators of employee benefit plans in the Mid-Atlantic region. GBS sponsors meetings as an educational initiative to deliver important health care reform information to Maryland citizens. Tomorrow morning, Lt. Governor Brown will speak at a similar GBS forum at Sheppard Pratt Conference Center in Towson.
Governor O’Malley tasked Lt. Governor Brown to lead the O’Malley-Brown administration’s health care portfolio. Brown chairs the Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council and co-chairs the HCRCC with Secretary Colmers. During the 2010 legislative session, Brown championed efforts to pass the Maryland False Health Claims Act of 2010 which will help the state recover in FY11 over $46.5 million of Medicaid funds that were stolen from taxpayers. Brown also led efforts to create the Patient Centered Medical Home program that offers providers with incentives to spend more time with patients and focus more closely on preventative care. In 2008, Lt. Governor Brown – a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and the nation’s highest-ranking elected official to serve a tour of duty in Iraq – partnered with members from both parties in the General Assembly to pass the Veterans Behavioral Health Act which improved and expanded mental and behavioral health services for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.