The Founder of the Initiative is Peter Beilenson, MD, MPH, and the President is Vincent DeMarco, MA, JD.
The Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative Education Fund (“MCHI”) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit advocacy organization that was created in 1999 with a mission to educate all Marylanders about sound ways to achieve quality, affordable health care for all.
In order to create a comprehensive, economically sound health care for all plan, MCHI organized the state’s largest coalition and solicited input from coalition members and thousands of Maryland citizens in town hall meetings. National experts at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Maryland Law School then worked to incorporate this community input into MCHI’s Health Care for All! Plan. In 2002, MCHI released its first plan and conducted a statewide campaign to educate people about how the plan would guarantee health care security for all Marylanders. A revised version of the plan was released in 2008 by the same set of experts that created the original following another round of public stakeholder meetings. The updated plan includes similar components as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010) and is being used to guide analysis and planning for state and local implementation of the federal health reform law.
Over 1,200 faith, labor, business, health, and community organizations have joined the Health Care for All! Coalition to support enactment of MCHI’s plan. This is the largest coalition ever created in Maryland and certainly one of the largest health care consumer coalitions in the country.
The Coalition successfully advocated for a number of laws that will increase access to care and prescription drugs. In addition, MCHI continues to work with key state leaders to educate members of our broad coalition about how they can access health care programs now in existence. In the years ahead, MCHI will continue to educate and activate its powerful coalition to increase health care access in Maryland.