Logo says Maryland Health Care for All with picture of Maryland map

Legislative Agenda

Health care leaders at a press event
Logos of some of the 300+ coalition partners

We are entering the new year strong with a coalition of over 300 faith, business, labor, health care, and community organizations signed on to the Health Care for All! Resolution! Special thank you to Maryland NAACP, 1199SEIU MD/DC, CASA, MedChi, Maryland Hospital Association, and Baptist Ministers' Night Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity for speaking at our kickoff event in December. 

This legislative session we have five top priorities on our legislative agenda to help ensure access to quality, affordable health care for ALL Marylanders. They are listed below and you can read more about them in Maryland Matters

  1. Full funding for the Prescription Drug Affordability Board.
  2. Health care subsidies for young adults. In 2021 Senator Brian Feldman and Delegate Ken Kerr sponsored a subsidies law which invested $20 million per year for two years to help lower-income young adults ages 18-34 purchase health coverage. In 2023 they will take the lead to make those subsidies permanent.
  3. Outreach for small employers about health coverage. Senator Katie Fry Hester and Delegate Robbyn Lewis will put in legislation to appropriate $5 million per year for five years to the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to do outreach to help small businesses get their employees enrolled in health care plans.
  4. Expansion of health coverage regardless of immigration status. Senator Clarence Lam and Delegate Bonnie Cullison will introduce two pieces of legislation: to allow people to purchase health coverage from the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange regardless of immigration status; and to study the feasibility of expanding Medicaid coverage to all income-eligible Marylanders. We will advocate in partnership with CASA who is taking the lead role.
  5. Enroll SNAP recipients into Medicaid. Senator Malcolm Augustine and Delegate Lorig Charkoudian will put in legislation to automatically enroll recipients of SNAP into Medicaid who are eligible but not yet enrolled.
Maryland local leaders presenting to Prescription Drug Affordability Board
Prescription Drug Affordability Board Making Progress
Following a series of forums around the state, local elected officials made a presentation to the Prescription Drug Affordability Board Stakeholder Council urging them to set upper payment limits for high cost drugs for state and local governments, and further to recommend to the legislature that the Board receive the authority to do the same for ALL Marylanders. See the leaders' letter to the board and forum report which includes pages of patient stories. The Board's progress was highlighted in the Baltimore Banner.
Prescription affordability improvements started Jan. 1!
This week the federal Inflation Reduction Act made the following improvements to Medicare:
  • Required drug corporations to offer rebates if the prices rise faster than inflation
  • Limited monthly co-pay costs for insulin to $35 in Part D plans
  • Improved coverage of adult vaccines

Maryland legislation sponsored by Chair Joseline Peña-Melnyk and Senator Clarence Lam also took effect:

  • Capped insulin copayments to $30 for a 30-day supply, which applies to all state-regulated commercial health insurance plans

See more about the new insulin cost caps from WYPR, WMAR, Maryland Mattersand the Baltimore Banner 

Health Care Celebration
On January first I celebrated the new year and all of the health care progress we have made at Southern Baptist Church with Bishop Donte Hickman. I spoke about insulin copay caps, the Health Care for All Resolution, and the Health Equity Resource Act. Wayman Scott of GBMC spoke about their work as a Pathways Program grantee toward health equity. 
Medicaid Dental Expanded Jan. 1
Approximately 800,000 Maryland Medicaid adult beneficiaries have comprehensive dental coverage, effective January 1, 2023! This is a major victory for Maryland and the many low-income adults and people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid for critical health care services, estimated at 1 out of every 5 Marylanders. To learn more about the dental coverage, please visit the Maryland Dental Action Coalition website. 
Open enrollment ends Jan. 15
Don’t miss out! The Jan. 15 deadline to enroll for a health plan through Maryland Health Connection is approaching. Visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov to browse 2023 rates and plans to find the best one for your needs. Marylanders ages 18-34 can get special discounts for 2023 health plans thanks to legislation sponsored by Chair Senator Brian Feldman and Delegate Kenn Kerr. 
Join the coalition!
If your organization has not yet endorsed the Health Care for All! Resolution, it isn't too late! An authorized member of your faith, business, labor, community, health care, or other organization can see the full resolution, list of coalition partners, and sign on electronically at our website. 

Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative
2600 St. Paul St.,  | Baltimore, Maryland  21218
(410) 235-9000 | info@healthcareforall.com

Follow Us

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences