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Media Statement About General Assembly Approval of Bill to Protect Affordable Care Act Protections in Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          Contact: Vincent DeMarco

March 16, 2020                                                                                      410-591-9162

 

Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative Statement About General Assembly Approval of Bill to Protect Affordable Care Act Protections in Maryland

Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative President Vincent DeMarco released the following statement today after the General Assembly approved legislation (HB 959) that will take steps to protect Marylanders’ health insurance protections if the federal Affordable Care Act is overturned in the courts or by Congress:

“We salute the Maryland General Assembly for final passage of a bill that will provide major protections to Marylanders’ health insurance by enshrining key parts of the Affordable Care Act into state law. This measure was necessary as the Trump administration and some members of Congress continue to fight to overturn the ACA. A court case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court threatens the ACA even in the midst of the COVID-19 public health crisis, but with this legislation in Maryland, we have taken a key step to ensuring the bedrock principles of the ACA remain in place in our state.

“Maryland has been a leader in implementing the Affordable Care Act and we have taken additional steps such as the state’s 2018 reinsurance program, the COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period, and the new Maryland Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program to expand access to affordable health insurance and care. As a result, we have expanded health care coverage to about 400,000 previously uninsured Marylanders, cutting our uninsured rate in half. This new legislation will help protect those gains if the Affordable Care Act is ever overturned.

“We thank our lead sponsors, Sen. Brian Feldman, Del. Shane Pendergrass, Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk, and all the members of the legislature who supported this vital consumer protection legislation. We are also grateful to the Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission, which has worked tirelessly to make sure we preserve the progress we have made in our healthcare system in Maryland. We urge Governor Hogan to sign this measure into law.”