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Media Release: As Nation Marks 11th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, the General Assembly is on Track to Pass Three Major Health Care Bills

For Immediate Release
March 23, 2021

Contact: Vincent DeMarco (410)591-9162

On the 11th anniversary of passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative (MCHI) congratulated the General Assembly for moving toward final passage of three key bills that will strengthen the state’s health care system and expand access to care.

The bills would make health insurance more affordable to young adults, make it easier for people who are unemployed to enroll in affordable health insurance and expand high-quality care in communities that have lacked good access.

“The Affordable Care Act has been enormously successful across the nation and in Maryland, driving down the number of people without health insurance dramatically and strengthening our system so more people are receiving the high-quality care they need to lead healthy lives,” said MCHI President Vincent DeMarco. “As we mark the 11th anniversary of the ACA, the General Assembly is on track to passing major bills to improve our state’s health care system. These bills will help ensure that Maryland remains a national leader in health care coverage and public health.”

The three key pieces of legislation poised for final passage are:

  • Health Insurance Premium Subsidies: Senate Bill 729, sponsored by Sen. Brian Feldman, and House Bill 780, sponsored by Del. Ken Kerr, authorizes the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to provide new health insurance coverage subsides for lower-income young adults, a key step in making insurance more affordable.
  • Expand Insurance Enrollment for the Unemployed: Senate Bill 893, sponsored by Sen. Jim Rosapepe, and House Bill 1002, sponsored by Del. Lorig Charkoudian, would connect people who file for unemployment insurance with the Maryland Health Benefits Exchange so they can easily access health coverage. This builds on Maryland’s successful first-in-the-nation Easy Enrollment law that connects people to health insurance when they file their state taxes.
  • Health Equity Resource Communities: Senate Bill 172, sponsored by Senator Antonio Hayes and House Bill 463, sponsored by Delegates Erek Barron and Jazz Lewis, would create Health Equity Resource Communities that would receive new funding to reduce racial disparities in health outcomes by improving access to care.

“We are hopeful that the General Assembly will give final approval to these three measures, giving a boost to our statewide health care system,”  DeMarco said  “By enacting these new public health measures, we would expand health coverage to thousands of additional Marylanders who are eligible for free or low-cost health coverage but not now enrolled and address the long term problem of health disparities by creating Health Equity Resource Communities.”