Experts outline Trumpcare costs for Maryland
Annapolis, Md. - Marylanders who would lose their health benefits under Trumpcare's repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) called on Governor Larry Hogan yesterday to do more to protect their health care and stop Washington Republicans from upending Maryland's health system.
"The plan currently being proposed by Republicans in Washington will throw me and millions of others off of insurance. We will not get the care we need and our entire society will suffer for it," said Barbara Gruber, a Maryland health care advocate and beneficiary of the Affordable Care Act. "Governor Hogan, please let us know what your plan is to help keep Marylanders safe and healthy."
"When the Affordable Care Act came out, our costs were cut in half compared to what we were paying beforehand," said Tim Reyburn, a Maryland small business owner and beneficiary of the Affordable Care Act. "We saved money and our premiums now are still less than what they were before the Affordable Care Act came into effect."
Trumpcare poses a state of emergency to Marylanders' health care and the state's health care system.
According to a recent report by the Center for American Progress, more than 225,000 Marylanders - 162,000 on Medicaid and more than 62,000 on the individual market - will lose their health coverage under the Senate Republican's bill
"Passage of the Senate discussion bill will create havoc in Maryland’s health insurance markets," said Beth Sammis, former Maryland acting insurance commissioner. "Governor Hogan can do more to protect the individual market by telling the U.S. Senate and the President to keep the individual mandate and fund the current subsidies."
"Who loses in the Senate Republican bill? Seniors, hospitals, our state budget, the economy and individuals who are insured through the private market and Medicaid," said Leni Preston, president of the nonpartisan organization Consumer Health First and a Maryland health care advocate. "To Governor Hogan, we would urge him to speak out to secure the health of Marylanders and to ignore those who speak of a 'death spiral.'"
"Advancing legislation that devastates the safety net and makes health care inaccessible for up to 300,000 of our friends, family, and neighbors in Maryland should be a non-starter for any policy maker," said Dr. Atul Grover, executive vice president of the Association of American Medical Colleges and a Maryland health policy expert.
While other Republican Governors have been publicly pressuring their GOP colleagues in Washington oppose Trumpcare, Governor Larry Hogan has been missing in action.
"The Senate Republican bill is a blatant shift of cost and risk to states. This is why we have seen Republican governors across the country, including in Ohio, Nevada, and Massachusetts, coming out forcefully against the bill," said Emily Barson, a former Obama Administration official at the Department of Health and Human Services. "Maryland has historically been a leader in healthcare innovation and coverage expansion, and Governor Hogan's absence on this issue at such a critical time should raise serious questions about his willingness to stand up to his party to protect the health and wellbeing of Marylanders. "
"Instead of standing up for Marylanders, Governor Hogan waited until the writing was on the wall in order to avoid taking a real stand on protecting Marylanders' health care," said Kathleen Matthews, chair of the Maryland Democratic Party. "While Republican governors are stepping up, Governor Hogan has been the last to lead, acting more like a politician than a true governor who cares about the health care of hundreds of thousands of his constituents."
Hogan has repeatedly refused to protect Marylanders from Trumpcare’s damage.
Earlier this spring, he appointed a Trumpcare-proponent to lead Maryland's health care commission. In March, when members of the Maryland congressional delegation called on Hogan to join them in opposing the Republican health care plan, Hogan refused and said they were “grandstanding.”