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Health Care Reform in Maryland

More than 61,000 Marylanders have health care coverage today thanks to a new law. But it may not be the law you’ve read about.

While the country was embroiled in a heated debate about federal health care reform legislation, Maryland was moving ahead with implementation of a 2007 state law that has brought health care to tens of thousands across the state. The Working Families and Small Business Health Care Coverage Act of 2007 expanded health care coverage for low-income adults, children and seniors in Maryland, moving the state from 44th to 16th in state rankings for health care coverage.

Still, many more Marylanders remain un- or under-insured, struggling to afford the care they need or forgoing it altogether.

And while the new federal health care law provides important opportunities to further the progress Maryland has made, it has also raised questions for consumers, providers, businesses and non-profits. According to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 55 percent of Americans say they don’t yet have enough information to understand how it will affect them personally.

AARP Maryland has embarked on a statewide campaign to help answer those questions. Through events, publications, media outreach and on-line activities, Marylanders will have opportunities to ask their questions about health care reform and learn what it means for them and their families.

Two events anchoring the campaign are scheduled for June 24 and 25 on the campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. At these “Ask the Experts” public forums, panelists from AARP, Families USA, Maryland Association of NonProfit Organizations, Maryland Health Care for All! and the Small Business Majority will discuss different provisions of federal health care reform and take questions. For more information or to register for these events, please visit the MidAtlantic Public Health Training Center website (click on “Upcoming Trainings and Events.”)

As our elected leaders move forward with improving health care and implementing the new federal law, AARP will also be vigilantly monitoring their efforts—nationally through AARP Government Watch and in Maryland as stakeholders advising the Governor’s Health Care Reform Coordinating Council.

Maryland is a recognized leader among the states when it comes to health care. The excellence of care provided in Maryland institutions brings national prominence and economic strength to the state, and state leaders have been ahead of the curve in making care accessible and affordable. AARP Maryland is committed to continuing that momentum until every Marylander has quality, affordable health care.

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