The Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition was established by the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative Education Fund, Inc. in 1999 in order to advocate for our Health Care for All! Plan. Our coalition includes hundreds of faith, business, labor, professional and community groups from across the state. Together, our mission is to ensure that all Marylanders have access to quality affordable health care coverage.
We have achieved major policy victories which have resulted in reducing the state’s uninsured population from 15% at the time of our founding to just 6% in 2022. We are proud of this progress and will continue to work until everyone has quality, affordable health care.
Below is a timeline of some of our past victories. None of this is possible without involvement from people like you. Visit “Our Work” page to see what we’re currently working on.
A record-setting 182,000 Marylanders enrolled in health coverage during open enrollment 2021-2022 at Maryland Health Connection! This includes almost 11,000 young adults new to the marketplace, many of whom received additional financial assistance from a state subsidy pilot program. Black and Brown communities enrolled at a rate higher than the state average, reducing disparities in access to coverage.
Led by CASA, this campaign successfully extended full Medicaid eligibility to all income-eligible pregnant people and their children in Maryland up to 12 months post-partum, regardless of immigration status.
Governor Hogan has signed SB 632. This law will create a workgroup under the auspices of Maryland’s nationally acclaimed Health Benefit Exchange. The workgroup will submit a report by October 1, 2022 on how the state could help more small businesses and nonprofits, including faith-based organizations, provide health insurance to their employees. Thank you for your advocacy on this important legislation!
The Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition successfully advocated for new subsidies to help low-income young adults afford coverage (SB 729/HB 780) and built a coalition of hundreds of organizations in support of our Health Equity Resource Communities Initiative (SB 172/HB463) that will dedicated $59M in new funding to reduce racial disparities in health outcomes by improving access to care.
The Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition, with more than 300 organizations across the state, successfully lobbies for the establishment of the Prescription Drug Affordability Board: an state government watchdog agency that will hold pharmaceutical companies accountable and make high cost drugs more affordable for state and local governments in Maryland.
Learn more about their work at the Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board website.
Do you want to get involved to make prescription drugs more affordable? Learn more about our campaign and how to get involved here.
Maryland becomes the first state in the nation to help citizens enroll in health insurance via their tax filing. The Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition works with Families USA and lead sponsors Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk and Senator Brian Feldman to shepherd the Maryland Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program through the General Assembly. The new law cuts red tape by allowing tax filers to initiate the enrollment process simply by checking a box on their tax return.
Learn more about Maryland's Easy Enrollment Health Insurance program at the Maryland Health Connection website.
HB 736, also known as the pharmacy gag rule ban bill, is signed into law. It allows pharmacists to advise customers on the cheapest way to purchase their prescription drugs. Previously, pharmacy benefit managers prohibited the sharing of this information. The bill is a win for health care consumers.
The Maryland Health Care for All! convenes forums across the state to educate Marylanders about new health system initiatives and defend the ACA and Medicaid from repeal and other sabotage.
The Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition launches an innovative new pilot project: the Maryland Faith Health Network. The Network links resources in faith and health care institutions to promote whole community wellness and collaborate to best meet the needs of congregants who are hospitalized. Our pilot demonstrated that coordination between health care institutions and community-based, trusted caregivers reduced potentially avoidable hospitalization.
The voice of former Orioles center fielder Adam Jones can be heard on Baltimore radio stations encouraging listeners to call the city's 211 hotline for help enrolling in Affordable Care Act health plans.
Following the first open enrollment cycles int he Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, 130,000 more Marylanders gained health insurance coverage. Only 7.9% of the state's residents are uninsured, with the greatest gains in coverage among communities of color and rural counties.
SB 182, the bill establishing Maryland's ACA Health Exchange, is signed into law by Governor Martin O'Malley. The Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition's advocacy helped elevate the voice of health care consumers in the debate surrounding the bill.
The Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition celebrates the passage and enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which incorporates many of the policy ideas the Coalition has been advocating for years.
SB 994, a bill increasing the tax on alcohol is passed into law. Studies show that the increase has saved lives and brought health care costs down by reducing underage drinking and alcohol abuse. Subsequent laws raised taxes on smokeless tobacco and other tobacco products.
Highlighted in The Washington Post, the alcohol and tobacco taxes were the right move for Maryland’s public health. The Abell Foundation commissioned this comprehensive study on the impact of these public health revenue measures. We encourage you to read their findings!
Vincent DeMarco and his unique approach to organizing and advocacy are profiled in a new book titled, The DeMarco Factor: Transforming Public Will into Political Power by Michael Pertschuk. The model is distilled into a short video and toolkit called, "The Six Steps to Effective Advocacy Campaigns," which has now been adopted by progressive groups across the country.
As a counterpoint to 2007's "Faces of Maryland's Uninsured," Brooke Hisle led the Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition's effort to publish a second report in 2010, "Faces of Maryland's Newly Insured." It features the stories of the Marylanders whose lives have been transformed by the passage of laws expanding access to the health care system.
Eleven-year-old student Graeme Frost joins former House Speaker Mike Busch, the Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition and other Maryland leaders in calling for federal reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program.
The Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition spreads the word about expanded Medicaid eligibility with an ad campaign featuring Ravens and Redskins players in TV, radio and print ads. The Coalitions is one of the first Maryland nonprofits to recruit beloved local athletes to participate in public health information campaigns.
The Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition achieves another win for children's health with the passage of HB1391, a law requiring the state to notify parents when their children are eligible for subsidized health insurance and to facilitate their enrollment.
Years of persistent organizing and advocacy work pay off with the passage of SB6: a bill instituting several major provisions of the Healthy Maryland Initiative. These include an expansion of Medicaid, a tax on tobacco products, and support for small businesses to provide health plans for their employees.
The Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition leads the successful advocacy effort behind the passage (and veto override) of the Fair Share Health Care Fund Act, also known as the "Walmart Bill." The bill requires large companies that do not provide adequate health coverage for their employees to contribute to a new public health care fund. Although challenged in court, the principals of the law are later incorporated into the Affordable Care Act.
The national health advocacy organization, Families USA, honors Maryland Health Care for All! President Vincent DeMarco with its Consumer Health Advocate of the Year award.
Later, Grantmakers In Health awarded Vinny the 2020 Andy Hyman Award for Advocacy. Read about the award on their website.
Open Society Institute Fellow Sarah Penna collaborates with the Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition to interview Marylanders who struggle to afford health care. Her 140 page report, Faces of Maryland's Uninsured, features photographs and personal stories highlighting the human cost of the health care crisis. The project builds momentum for meaningful policy change.
Watch a clip of the 20 min documentary produced with the report in partnership with The Megaphone Project on their YouTube Channel.
The coalition launches the Healthy Maryland Initiative: a proposal to make major reforms to the state health care system including an expansion of Medicaid funded by a tax on tobacco and support for small businesses to provide health insurance for their employees.
The Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition's advocacy contributes to the passage of two important public health bills in Maryland.
The first, HB 627, establishes the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission to increase access to health care for low income individuals and to fund community health resource centers.
The second, HB 1143, expands access to the Maryland Pharmacy Discount program, making prescription drugs more affordable for thousands of Marylanders.
Through extensive grassroots organizing, the Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition grows to more than 2,000 groups that support the coalition's efforts to expand access to quality affordable health care in Maryland.
More than 500 community, business, religious and labor groups across the state come together to form the Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition to call for universal health coverage in Maryland.
Vincent DeMarco and Peter Beilenson establish the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative Education Fund, Inc. and set in motion a movement to win quality, affordable health care for all Marylanders.
The board of directors provides broad oversight of the activities of the MCHIEF and fiscal oversight through regular reports on the budget. Directors include representatives of our key constituencies and meet quarterly.
President– Vincent DeMarco
Vice President –Dr. Darrell Gaskin, Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Treasurer- Glenn Schneider, Horizon Foundation
Founder – Dr. Peter Beilenson
Emeritus Board Member – Joel Rabin
Anna Davis, JD, Gordon, Wolf and Carney
Mark Derbyshire, Park Moving and Storage
Dr. Toby Gordon, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School
Jamal Lee, Breasia Productions
Angelica Newsome, Luminus Health
Isazetta Spikes, Maryland Chapter, NAACP
Susan Talbott, RN MA MBA, Community and health activist
The Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative, Inc. is a sister organization of our Education Fund. It is a 501(c)(4) organization and takes action on important issues relating to our shared goal of expanding access to quality, affordable health care. This board also includes representatives of our key constituencies and meets quarterly.
President – Vincent DeMarco
Vice President –Bishop Larry Lee Thomas, United Black Clergy of Anne Arundel County
Treasurer- Jamal Lee, Breasia Productions
Founder – Dr. Peter Beilenson
Emeritus Board Member – Joel Rabin
Jim Campbell, AARP Maryland
Rev. Lee Hudson, Lutheran Office on Public Policy
Ricarra Jones, 1199 SEIU Health Care Workers East
Len Lucchi, O’Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore
Angelica Newsome, Luminus Health
Glenn Schneider, Horizon Foundation
This is where the rubber meets the road. Our Health Care for All! Coalition is the largest and most diverse organized group of health care consumers in Maryland. Hundreds of groups from faith, business, labor, policy, community, and health care services fields are all represented in our coalition. There is no cost to become a member of our coalition.
The Health Care for All! Coalition is a formidable force in Annapolis. We advocate on behalf of health care consumers and engage with local elected officials on important matters relating to current issues in public health.