Maryland healthcare package passes House and Senate
MARYLAND – Healthcare advocates are applauding the passage of several bills looking to improve healthcare access in Maryland.
Among them is an extension on the Maryland Healthcare Exchange subsidy for those ages 18 to 34 for another two years, with a commission for a state study to see how the measure might be best implemented.
“We went into this wanting to get rid of the sunsetting of the bill but this makes sense, to see how we can best utilize those state resources while helping young people get into this system,” said Maryland Healthcare for All Coalition President Vincent DeMarco.
DeMarco tells us they are glad to see the passage of an automatic Medicaid enrollment bill, for those who are on snap benefits a move he says could instantly give coverage to 60,000 people.
Another measure would give the state landmark board the ability to control prescription drug prices with over $1 million in state funding.
All of those bills have cleared both the house and the senate, and now head to Governor Wes Moore’s desk.
“Together these measures will substantially improve Maryland healthcare and take us closer to our goal of quality affordable healthcare for all Marylanders,” DeMarco said.
But one measure DeMarco says that only has house approval is a bill to allow those without full legal status to use the state’s healthcare systems.
He says by leaving people out, people ignore their conditions until the point where they need to go to an emergency room where those fees go unpaid, and result in higher healthcare premiums for policyholders across the state to offset the costs.
DeMarco feels those workers deserve health care access and this bill would not lock them out of a system they already pay into.
“It is unconscionable that people in Maryland with an immigration status that isn’t full status as citizens cant get healthcare even though they are paying taxes, and when they go to the emergency room- we pay for their care,” Demarco said.