Saving ACA: Bipartisan Approaches

Consumer advocates say, "Maryland's increasing rates for health insurance on the Affordable Care Act's individual market are unsustainable" (Baltimore Sun Editorial - August 31). That statement also reflects what Consumer Health First said in public testimony before the Insurance Commissioner and in response to release of the approved rates. Others weighed in as well, including on our Facebook page where one person wrote, "So no health insurance for me and my family again this year." 

More immediately, Congress must act, and it is hopeful that there has been a spurt of bipartisanship in advance of hearings before the  U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Consumer Health First is disappointed that Maryland is not represented on either of the two examples with the most promise:
  • Twelve directors of other state-based exchanges, sent a letter to Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) of the HELP Committee; and
     
  • Eight Governors promoted a bipartisan blueprint put together by Governor Kasich (R-OH) and Governor Hickenlooper (D-CO). 
We hope that Governor Hogan will step up and show his support for these bipartisan efforts soon.
 

Children's Health Care at Risk

142,327 children in Maryland were covered by the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 2015. Their access to care is now threatened because the required federal funds to support the program have not been authorized by Congress. Without action by September 30, it is predicted that Maryland will exhaust needed funds in April 2018.

For a more information and resources on this issue, please visit our website, and for a detailed Fact Sheet on the CHIP program in Maryland - click here.

  • Will they or won't they? The Washington Post looks at the prognosis for Congress to shore up the ACA marketplace.
  • Tick, Tock... the sand is about to run out of the timer on a repeal effort for the ACA. The Senate Parliamentarian ruled on Friday that the GOP Senate only has until Sept. 30 to use the fast track reconciliation process for repeal. 
  • Heavy Lifting. That's what will be required by the states if Senators Alexander and Murray's plan survives according to PoliticoThe result would be a system that's still vulnerable, but far from the 'disaster' President Trump and his top health officials describe.
  • Could a 'Medicaid for All' plan work?  Healthline asks Consumer Health First President, Leni Preston, and other health experts to weigh in. 
  • In Maryland, State Budget Cuts due today. Governor Hogan and the Board of Public Works will be voting on the Governor's proposed budget today, which includes $68 million in budget cuts, the largest of which is the Department of Health, which could lose as much as $22 million. We are particularly concerned about cuts to disparity reduction efforts.

  • Wednesday, October 4th, Consumer Health First President, Leni Preston will be part of a panel of speakers at the upcoming forum, "Marylanders Speak to Governor Hogan." With opening remarks by Congressman Jamie Raskin, and sponsored by Do the Most Good Montgomery County, the forum is designed to get input from citizens on what they feel Governor Hogan's response should be to three of the most important topics today: climate change, healthcare, and education. The forum will be held from 7:30 pm-9:00 pm, at Richard Montgomery High School, Rockville, MD 20852. Doors open at 7:00 PM. RSVP for the event here.
  • Wednesday, November 1st is National Vinegar Day, and Consumer Health First is once again partnering with Secolari, purveyor of artisanal culinary oils and vinegars, for some tasty fundraising! Join us online or at the Secolari store in Columbia, from 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM. 15% of all pre-tax purchases will go to Consumer Health First. Buy something special for yourself, or stock up on hostess and holiday gifts.
Other Upcoming Events
  • Sunday, September 10 - The Anne Arundel Indivisible Healthcare Coalition is presenting "Patients Losing Patience," 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM at the Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center, 1101 Smithville Drive, Annapolis, MD, 21401. More information here.
  • Thursday, September 14 - Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Standing Advisory Committee, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), 7201 Corporate Center Drive, Hanover, MD, 21076
  • Saturday, September 16 - Health Care For All forum at NOON, featuring Senator Chris Van Hollen and Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen at Perkins Square Baptist Church, 2500 Edmondson Avenue in Baltimore City with faith and community leaders. See the flyer here.
  • Monday, September 18 - Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Board Meeting, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Maryland Health Care Commission, 4160 Patterson Avenue, Baltimore, MD, 21215
  • Tuesday, September 19 - Health Care for All forum at 7:00 PM, featuring Congressman Jamie Raskin. Silver Spring Civic Center, 1 Veterans Place. The third in a series of events highlighting how the Medicaid program benefits Marylanders. See the flyer hereand RSVP here.
We Need Your Support - Now More Than Ever

You can help us reach our goal of h igh-quality, comprehensive and affordable health care for all.
  • Or make a DONATION NOW! We at Consumer Health First are working hard every day to address the constant attacks on the ACA. This work is consuming all of our time and resources. We look to you, our partners, to help fund this important work. Thank you!
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