Gives Speech Highlighting Maryland’s Leadership in Health Care Reform, Efforts to Reduce Health Disparities
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 25, 2011) – Yesterday, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown gave an address to the National Medical Association (NMA), the largest and oldest national organization representing African American physicians and their patients in the United States, on the opportunities and challenges of implementing health care reform in Maryland and the need to reduce health disparities.
Lt. Governor Brown delivered remarks at the NMA’s 109th Annual Convention & Scientific Assembly in Washington, D.C., highlighting Maryland’s leadership in health care reform, both prior to and since passage of the Federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). Brown also discussed the important role of primary care providers in addressing health disparities and outlined the new effort he is leading to address disparities in Maryland, including a new health disparities workgroup within the Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council.
“African American primary-care physicians play an integral role in helping us address health disparities, a national problem that strikes at the heart of America’s promise,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “We must work together to seize the moment and use the tools provided by the Affordable Care Act to build a better, healthier future for our nation.”
The NMA Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly event brings together the largest spectrum of African American physicians, academicians and scientists in the country as well as other allied health professionals to discuss the art and science of medicine for people of African descent through education, advocacy, and health policy to promote health and wellness, eliminate health disparities, and sustain physician viability. The theme of this year’s meeting – “Health Equity: Lead, Reform, Deliver” references the leadership role that the NMA and its members must actively play in ensuring that healthcare reform is implemented in all states in a manner that results in improved health access, services, and outcomes for all.
NMA is committed to improving the quality of health among minorities and disadvantaged people through its membership, professional development, community health education, advocacy, research and partnerships with federal and private agencies. Throughout its history the National Medical Association has focused primarily on health issues related to African Americans and medically underserved populations; however, its principles, goals, initiatives and philosophy encompass all ethnic groups. Additional information on NMA is available at www.nmanet.org.
Lt. Governor Brown has become a leading voice on health care reform implementation in the states. Earlier this year, he delivered keynote addresses at AcademyHealth’s 11th Annual National Health Policy Conference in Washington, DC and 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. He also delivered remarks last month on Health IT adoption in Maryland at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Northeast-Mid Atlantic Regional Health Information Technology (HIT) Conference. 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.
Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown, Maryland has implemented reforms that have already expanded health coverage to over 280,000 Marylanders. Earlier this year, 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 Lt. Governor’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, can be found attached.