New data shows that the Affordable Care Act helps make healthcare more affordable for everyone. But, this progress is under attack through federal sabotage of the ACA. Maryland can fight back with a Health Insurance Down Payment Plan. This plan would give people without health coverage a choice: either pay a penalty to the state or instead use that money to purchase quality, affordable healthcare. If enacted, everyone in Maryland would benefit through lower premiums.
Uncompensated Care and Premium Increases Went Down
People without health coverage often get medical care in the most expensive way possible– in emergency rooms. It’s called uncompensated care, and those unpaid costs drive up everyone’s insurance premiums. Uncompensated care is the hidden healthcare tax. When more people get insured, uncompensated care drops.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, over 400,000 Marylanders got insured. Uncompensated care fell by $400 million over 5 years. At the same time annual premiums increases went down for private employers!
Federal Sabotage Threatens This Progress
This progress is at risk through federal sabotage of the Affordable Care Act, but we can fight back with a proposal called the Health Insurance Down Payment Plan. Our “down-payment plan” helps incentivize people to get health coverage. They get the care they need while we shrink uncompensated care, holding down insurance costs for everyone.
Here’s how it would work: at tax time, Marylanders would be asked if they had quality health coverage in the past year. If they answer no, they have a choice: either pay a penalty to the state or instead use that money to purchase quality, affordable healthcare.
- About 78,000 Marylanders could purchase coverage for no more than the penalty combined with federal subsidies.
- About 50,000 Marylanders could enroll in Medicaid who file tax returns but have not yet signed up for coverage.
- Young and healthy residents would purchase coverage, stabilizing the individual market and lowering premiums.
As more Marylanders sign up, uncompensated care will continue to decline, further reducing the hidden healthcare tax, and bringing down premiums for everybody.
We thank Senator Brian J. Feldman and Delegate Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk for being the lead sponsors of the Down Payment bills during the 2019 legislative session! You can hear them featured on a radio ad advocating for the Down Payment Plan.
Maryland must protect the Affordable Care Act from federal sabotage by passing this important legislation. The election made clear that the public wants more to be done to continue to make healthcare more affordable, and the Down Payment legislation is an essential tool to do that.Last modified: November 20, 2018