LT. GOVERNOR BROWN STATEMENT ON GENERAL ASSEMBLY PASSAGE OF HEALTH CARE REFORM LEGISLATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LT. GOVERNOR BROWN STATEMENT ON GENERAL ASSEMBLY PASSAGE OF
HEALTH CARE REFORM LEGISLATION
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (March 27, 2013) –
Today, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown issued the following statement in response to passage by the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates of the
Administration’s Health Progress Act of 2013 (SB274/HB228), which
constitutes the last step in the State’s three-year efforts to establish its state-based health insurance exchange and fully implement the other protections of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Maryland:
“I want to thank the members of the House and Senate for coming together and
working closely with our partners in the health insurance industry, health care providers and associations, and community advocates to pass the Maryland Health Progress Act, ensuring that we will be among the first states in the country to bring the full benefits of the Affordable Care Act to individuals, families, and small businesses throughout our state.
“This critical legislation is the culmination of 3 years of collaboration
and compromise with members of the General Assembly, as well as our various stakeholders. With its passage, we can be certain that our state-based health insurance exchange – Maryland Health Connection – will be launched on October 1st, 2013, providing affordable, high-quality coverage for 147,000 previously uninsured Marylanders. Additionally, our expansion of Medicaid will provide coverage to 108,000 low-income Marylanders. Each and every member of our communities deserves access to affordable, quality healthcare. And while our work is far from finished, the Maryland Health Progress Act is an important step forward towards achieving that goal.”
The bill passed the Maryland Senate today by a vote of 35-11 and the House of Delegates by a vote of 93-43 on March 25th. Pending final review by both chambers, the bill will go to Governor O’Malley’s desk for his signature. Last month, the Lt. Governor Brown testified in favor of the bill before both the House Health & Government Operations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.
The legislation includes: the expansion of Medicaid as permitted under the ACA;
the establishment of a dedicated funding stream for the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange from the existing premium tax on health insurers; provisions to move enrollees of the Maryland Health Insurance Plan (MHIP) into the state-based exchange (or Maryland Health Connection) in a manner that eases their transition and mitigates the potential impact on rates; provisions to ensure continuity of care for those switching insurance policies and moving in and out of Medicaid and commercial insurance, and other necessary changes to become fully compliant with the ACA.
Lt. Governor Brown leads the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s efforts to reduce costs, expand access, and improve the quality of care for all Marylanders. Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown, Maryland has implemented reforms that have expanded health coverage to more than 367,000 Marylanders, half of whom are children, established Maryland’s Health Benefit Exchange, and put the State in position to maximize the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Independent analysis by the Hilltop Institute at the University of Maryland Baltimore County has found that implementation of the ACA will benefit
the state’s budget by $672 million through 2020, generate more than $3 billion in annual economic activity, cut the number of uninsured in half, and create more than 26,000 jobs.