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Media Statement About Senate Passage of SB 632 To Help Small Businesses Afford Health Care Coverage

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2022
Contact: Vincent DeMarco

Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland HealthCare for All! Coalition, released the following statement today after the Maryland Senate unanimously passed SB 632 to create a new state program to help small businesses and nonprofits afford health insurance for their workers:

“The Maryland State Senate has taken a major step forward in passing new legislation, SB 632, which would create a state program to help small businesses and nonprofits, including faith-based organizations, provide health insurance for their workers. Though it is not everything that we asked for, the measure, as passed by the Senate, would create a workgroup, under the auspices of Maryland’s nationally acclaimed Health Benefit Exchange, to determine how the program would work. The bill commits the State to fund this program annually, beginning on July 1, 2023.

We have made great progress enrolling hundreds of thousands of Marylanders in health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act, but we still have more work to do. Small businesses and nonprofits often struggle to pay for health coverage for workers, and this measure will help more of them to afford this critically needed insurance.

We thank our sponsors, Sen. Katie Fry Hester, Sen. Brian Feldman and Sen. Joanne Benson, along with Senate President Bill Ferguson, Senate Finance Committee Chair Delores Kelley and Senate Budget and Taxation Chair Guy Guzzone, for their strong leadership on this issue. We are also grateful to the strong support and advocacy of our many coalition partners, including Maryland Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, NAACP Maryland State Conference, Maryland Nonprofits, and local leaders, including the Mayor of Baltimore and all the major jurisdiction County Executives led by Howard County Executive Calvin Ball.  We urge the House of Delegates to approve this legislation and join the State Senate in standing with small businesses, nonprofits and Maryland workers.”