LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS®
RSC (2009-3) Health Care
Senator Pinsky has submitted SB 881, Maryland Health System Act of 2009, and 26 Delegates have cosponsored the cross filed bill HB 1186 (Montgomery plus 25).??Twenty-six delegates would lead you to believe that the bill would comeout of Committee, however there are only seven sponsors on the committee.? They will need six more votes to bring it out.
The bill creates a board to oversee the entire system, named the MarylandHealth System Administrative Board.? There would be a policy board; a needs, planning, and improvement board and a quality board.? These boards would oversee the entire system.?? The bill would create a true single payer system for the State.??It sets up the system, but does not delineate what the coverage would be, first dollar or a catastrophic policy.?It also does not indicate how it would interface with the current employer based coverage.? There is no indication on funding sources for the coverage or implementation of bill.?
HB 951/SB 813, Health Care Affordability Act of 2009 (Hubbard plus 18/Jones), which would establish the Maryland Institute for Clinical Value.??Among other things, the bill creates a Maryland Insurance Pool that would provide coverage for Maryland citizens.?? It also delineates the type of coverage, the source of funding, credit for healthy lifestyle and responsibilities of the carriers who provide coverage through the pool.?
Senator Pipkin is sponsoring SB 756, Consumer Health Open Insurance Coverage Act of 2009.? This was SB 617 in 2008.?? The bill would create a Maryland Health Insurance Exchange in the Maryland Health Care Commission.? The exchange would establish a basic plan and would certify participating plans. It would also establish a risk pool of beneficiaries.? Additionally it requires all carriers issuing plans in the State to belong to the risk pool.? These three bills come at universal access in the State in three different ways.? These summaries are just a cursory summary of the bills.?? ??
There are several bills thatwould increase the availability of Medicaid in the State.? HB 580, sponsored by Delegate Mizeyr, would require Medicaid coverage for independent foster care adolescents (age 18-21.)?This group of children often gets lost in the system when they are no longer in a foster home.? Delegate Peter Hammen, chairman of the Health and Government Operations Committee, sponsored HB 739, which would increase the substance abuse services available for Medical Assistance patients.? The bill would not take effect until the 2011 budget.?? Del. Hammen has also sponsored HB 1096, which would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to establish a substance abuse delivery system in the Medicaid program.?Family planning services would be increased for families with income below 250 percent of the poverty level through HB 1279, sponsored by Delegate Mizeur.? She has also sponsored HB 1213, which would require DHMH to update its Medicaid processing and eligibility information technology by December 2012.??
Delegate Hammen and Senator Middleton have sponsored HB 860/SB 515?which would replace the Maryland Health Insurance Plan with the Healthy Maryland Program.? It would also change criteria for the employer-based payment.?Additionally it would change the benefit package of the program.?? These bills will move forward and are worthwatching, as both sponsors are chairmen of the committees hearing the bills.
?HB 1119/SB 761 DHMH ? Federal Waiver ?Waiver for Medicaid Coordinated Long Term Care Program. DHMH would be required to applyfor a Federal waiver under the SSA to establish a coordinated care long- term program having the goal of providing long term care services in the most appropriate, cost effective setting. Medical Assistance Program recipients maybe required to enroll in a coordinated care program. This bill was vetoed in 2004 and called Community Choice Program. ? (contributed by Loretta Richardson)