The Baltimore Sun
May 6, 2020
By: Stephanie Klapper
The recent article on the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare plays part in virus fight,” April 23) highlighted a deeply disturbing fact: even in the middle of the worst public health crisis to hit the U.S. in a century, the Trump administration and some states are going to court to try to end the Affordable Care Act, the law that has established critical consumer protections and expanded health insurance access across the country.
If they prevail, millions could lose health insurance and the law’s important protections would vanish. This would be a disaster for our nation and our state at a time when we are battling a deadly virus outbreak. The good news is that the Maryland General Assembly has been looking ahead and passed legislation this year that will enshrine many of the ACA’s consumer protections into state law. This legislation grew out of the work of the Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission chaired by Sen. Brian Feldman and Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk. The protections included in the legislation include, for example, a ban on insurers discriminating against people with preexisting conditions.
We urge Gov. Larry Hogan to sign this bill. We salute Governor Hogan for supporting the ACA at the federal level in the past. It’s now time for him to approve this important measure and enshrine the ACA’s protections for Marylanders — no matter what happens in court.
Stephanie Klapper, Baltimore
The writer is deputy director of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative.