Gives Major Speech Highlighting Maryland’s Leadership in Health Care Reform
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (May 4, 2011) – Today, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown gave a major address on health care reform efforts in Maryland to an estimated 350 influential health policy professionals at the 2011 Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) and National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) Joint Academy and Midyear Scientific Meeting in Albuquerque, NM. The conference, entitled “A Tapestry for Change – Addressing Chronic Health Issues in a Dynamic World,” was the first held jointly by SOPHE and NACDD.
Lt. Governor Brown delivered remarks highlighting Maryland’s leadership in health care reform, both prior to and since passage of the Federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown, Maryland has implemented reforms that have already expanded health coverage to over 260,000 Marylanders. Last month, the Governor signed into law a package of legislation, championed by Lt. Governor Brown, to establish a framework for Maryland’s health benefit exchange and give the Maryland Insurance Commissioner the authority to enforce consumer protections in the ACA. According to research by the independent Hilltop Institute, implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will save Maryland an estimated $850 million and cut the number of Marylanders without health insurance in half by 2020.
“The Affordable Care Act offers states an unprecedented opportunity to dramatically improve health care in our communities, and Governor O’Malley and I are working to seize this opportunity to make Maryland the healthiest state in the nation,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “By bringing people together and building consensus, Maryland has developed a national model for implementing health care reform that will reduce costs, expand access, and improve the quality of care for all Marylanders. But it is important that we continue working with those involved in health policy from across the country in order to take our successes to other states and to hear new ideas for improving health care throughout Maryland.”
"The first joint meeting between SOPHE and the NACDD is an opportunity for us to translate effective policy and research into action to prevent chronic disease, eliminate health disparities and promote healthy behaviors,” said Elaine Auld, Chief Executive Officer of the Society for Public Health Education. "We are excited to have Lt. Governor Brown share his experience about the challenges and opportunities that prevention and health care reform presents for every state and community."
The Lt. Governor’s remarks touched on numerous areas of health care policy, including Maryland’s reform initiatives both before and since the ACA, key challenges facing states in implementing reform and how Maryland is addressing these challenges, measures to increase wellness and prevention, the need for states to focus on efforts that will bend the health care cost curve, and a call to address the nation’s health disparities among minorities.
Lt. Governor Brown has become a leading voice on health care reform implementation in the states. Earlier this year, he delivered the keynote address at AcademyHealth’s 11th Annual National Health Policy Conference in Washington, DC. Appointed by Governor O’Malley as co-chair of the Maryland Health Care Reform Coordinating Council and chair of the Health Quality and Cost Council, Lt. Governor Brown leads the O’Malley-Brown administration’s health care portfolio.
The joint SOPHE-NACDD conference is intended to encourage dialogue and discovery among chronic disease health directors, behavioral scientists, community members, and practitioners of chronic disease prevention, health education and health promotion. This year’s conference focused on chronic disease prevention as it relates to policy, systems and environmental change; addressing disparities among vulnerable populations through health communication and cultural competence; and the many facets and faces of diabetes.
The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), founded in 1950, is an independent, international professional association made up of a diverse membership of health education professionals and students. The organization promotes healthy behaviors, healthy communities, and healthy environments through its membership, its network of local chapters, and its numerous partnerships with other organizations. With its primary focus on public health education, SOPHE provides leadership through a code of ethics, standard for professional preparation, research and practice; professional development; and public outreach. More information on SOPHE is available at http://www.sophe.org/.
The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) is a non-profit Public Health organization for chronic disease program directors of each state and U.S. territory. Founded in 1988, NACDD connects more than 1,400 members to advocate for preventive policies and programs, encourage knowledge sharing and develop partnerships for health promotion. Since its founding, NACDD has been a national leader in mobilizing efforts to reduce chronic diseases and their associated risk factors through state and community-based prevention strategies. Additional information on NACDD is available at http://www.chronicdisease.org/.